At least 18 ‘high risk viruses’ in China market are ‘another pandemic waiting to happen’ – World News


A study of over a dozen species of game animals traded, sold and eaten as exotic food in China found mammalian viruses including 18 which were deemed “potentially high risk”

live wet market
Live wet markets (file photo)

Wildlife species sold in wet markets in China are ‘another pandemic waiting to happen,’ a scientist has said.

A study of viral pathogens found that they harbour a range of diseases which threaten humans and other animals, reports said.

According to The Straits Times, a study of over a dozen species of game animals traded, sold and eaten as exotic food in China found 71 mammalian viruses.

This number included 18 which were deemed “potentially high risk” to both people and domestic animals.

“This study highlights exactly why the wildlife trade and live animal markets are a pandemic accident waiting to happen,” said co-author Edward Holmes, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney.








Seafood being sold at a farmer’s market in China in 2020
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Image:

ALEX PLAVEVSKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)



“This paper also shows that humans regularly transmit their viruses to other animals. There’s clearly two-way virus traffic.”

The research which was released on Friday showed cat-like carnivores Civets carried the most concerning microbes.

The research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Programme of China as well as others.








A farmer’s market in China pictured
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Image:

ALEX PLAVEVSKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)



Professor Holmes added: “A further species jump from civets into humans could easily start a major outbreak.

The first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Wuhan back in December 2019, and the mainstream theory has since been that the virus had natural origins around the city, perhaps in the ‘wet market’.

Scientists have not yet determined the origins of Sars-CoV-2.


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