Although the planet has been dealing with the serious consequences of the pandemic for more than a year and a half, the real causes of the disease are still unknown.
Last year, the genetic sequences of more than 200 samples from the first COVID-19 cases in Wuhan disappeared from a database.
They were thirteen partial genetic sequences deleted from Google Cloud, which were part of some of the cases that appeared in this Chinese city. Fortunately, a scientist has been able to find some of them.
Jesse Bloom, virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has written a report describing his finding, noting that the deletion of these sequences is suspicious.
“It seems likely that the sequences were removed to hide their existence,” he says. “These are three steps closer to the bat coronavirus than the Huanan seafood market virus,” he refers to in relation to the place where the first cases of the disease were registered.
Until now, the first sequences available belonged to those taken in Huanan. However, the cases in early December and November 2019 would be unrelated to that market, which could indicate that the virus emerged elsewhere.
“This fact suggests that the market sequences, which was the main focus of genomic epidemiology in the joint WHO-China report, are not representative of the virus that was circulating in Wuhan at the end of December 2019 and the beginning of January 2020. ”Adds the scientist’s report.