The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in the city of Wuhan is thought to be ground zero for the mystery virus (Photo from AFP)
By Kristelle Bechayda
Authorities are getting close to finding out what caused the coronavirus that has been rapidly spreading across several Asian countries.
According to an article posted by Agence France Presse, Chinese officials said the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak that emerged last December may have come from a wild animal sold at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.
There is an online price list currently circulating in China that showed more than a hundred animals or animal-based products sold at one particular stall in the market. The items on the list included live foxes, crocodiles, wolf puppies, giant salamanders, snakes, rats, peacocks, porcupines, camel meat, and more, which are said to be “freshly slaughtered, frozen, and delivered to your door.”
Though the market has since been closed by authorities a few weeks after the outbreak, speculations about the outbreak’s origin are still on the rise.
The market was closed by authorities a few weeks after the outbreak (Photo from AFP)
Photos and videos are emerging online, which captured people eating bat soup, which is a popular delicacy in China. There is also a new study that details the 2019-nCoV may have come from the Chinese cobra and Chinese krait snakes, which were sold at the market.
China either bans or requires special licenses for the trafficking of wild species, but the regulations become loose for some species that are commercially farmed. And merchants reported that wildlife trade took place in Huanan Seafood Market until it was shut down for disinfection.
As of this writing, the coronavirus in China has killed 17 people and infected more than 500 in China, as Chinese health authorities stated. It has also spread to other countries like Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Nepal, and even the US.