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Finding the origins of Covid-19 and preventing future pandemics

Jeffrey D. Sachs
Jeffrey D. Sachs7/2/2021 7:0 AM GMT+08  • 12 min read
Finding the origins of Covid-19 and preventing future pandemics
More transparency and clarity on the debate could help to resolve the source of the virus and also head off future pandemics.
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Where did Covid-19 come from? The source of the pandemic is a subject of immense importance. But more than 18 months after the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19), the question of the pathogen’s origin remains unsettled. More transparency and clarity on the debate could help to resolve the source of the virus and also head off future pandemics.

There are two main hypotheses. The first is a natural occurrence in which SARS-CoV-2 passed from an animal to a human in a natural setting, a farm or a food market. The second is an infection related to research work that was underway on SARS-like viruses (that is, viruses related to the one that caused the SARS epidemic in 2002 to 2004).

If we are to prevent future outbreaks, determining the source of the current one must be a high priority.

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