Coronavirus Origins

  • I can see the rock @BShark is overturning as worthy of it’s own topic.

    Check out Shi Zhengli’s Wikipedia. I would like to know much more about Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Gain of Function studies.

  • 99.99% chance it was natural. We’ve known bats are a prime candidate to transmit a virus of this type for a long time, and frankly we don’t have the ability to engineer something like this

  • @FarmerJayhawk One of those articles said there are something like 5,000 viruses that bats harbor, “so it was only a question of when, not if, one spread to humans.”

    I cannot figure out if this is reassuring, or if we have 4,999 to look forward to.

  • @mayjay and why has it taken - however long bats have been on earth- for this to show up ?

  • @nuleafjhawk Entirely conjecture on my part! I can only guess that most of the viruses, if transmitted to humans, do not lend themselves to human-to-human transmission. Some may kill humans fast enough that community spread doesn’t occur. Some may not be harmful, some might not mutate quickly or at all (very stable RNA).

    Since there are numerous plagues and pandemics through history, obviously some viruses have popped up here and there. Pigs, birds, snakes, apes have all been implicated in various diseases.

    I would hazard another guess that since viruses were not even discovered until 1901, who knows how many times some virus might have made the jump previously?

    Here is an NIH article that contains interesting info. From the Abstract:

    “There are 219 virus species that are known to be able to infect humans. The first of these to be discovered was yellow fever virus in 1901, and three to four new species are still being found every year. Extrapolation of the discovery curve suggests that there is still a substantial pool of undiscovered human virus species, although an apparent slow-down in the rate of discovery of species from different families may indicate bounds to the potential range of diversity. More than two-thirds of human viruses can also infect non-human hosts, mainly mammals, and sometimes birds. Many specialist human viruses also have mammalian or avian origins. Indeed, a substantial proportion of mammalian viruses may be capable of crossing the species barrier into humans, although only around half of these are capable of being transmitted by humans and around half again of transmitting well enough to cause major outbreaks. A few possible predictors of species jumps can be identified, including the use of phylogenetically conserved cell receptors. It seems almost inevitable that new human viruses will continue to emerge, mainly from other mammals and birds, for the foreseeable future.”

    “Human viruses: discovery and emergence”

    I haven’t read the whole thing, but your question made me find it. Bookmarked for later!

  • @nuleafjhawk said in Coronavirus Origins:

    @mayjay and why has it taken - however long bats have been on earth- for this to show up ?

    Hard to say. For example, HIV didn’t show up until the late 60’s and came from apes. It’s possible there were more localized outbreaks years and years ago before globalization when China was effectively autarkic both in terms of labor and capital.

    My theory is we’re all so economically related now it’s much, much easier for a virus to both jump to humans and once it does, infect a lot of people. There are more of us than ever and it’s easier to travel than ever.

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