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Friday, May 17, 2024

What’s a raccoon dog and did it give us covid? Explaining viral hosts and complicated spillover pathways

A new report adds some weight to the animal origins of the pandemic and demonstrates the complex ecology behind viral transmission between animals and people.

By Dave Levitan, GRID

Scientists investigating the origin of the pandemic reported Thursday that they had found genetic data from a market in Wuhan, China, that adds evidence supporting an animal origin for covid.

The result, first reported by The Atlantic, suggests that a raccoon dog — a small animal related to foxes, native to East Asia and known to be illegally trafficked at the market — may have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the covid-19 virus) and potentially capable of spreading it.

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Image by Harald Matern from Pixabay 

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