Not China But Europe Caused the Massive Coronavirus Spread, Say UK Scientists

The actual spread of COVID-19 to the US and other parts of the world was mostly via Europe and not directly from China, said researchers

The world is waiting for the day when the Coronavirus pandemic will end and when an effective vaccine will be available. But the question is how did the virus spread so fast around the world and is it China's fault?

The SARS-CoV-2 may have been first noticed in China but it doesn't mean that the Asian country is completely responsible for its spread—even though the Chinese Communist Party mishandled the initial outbreak in the country. UK's Huddersfield University scientists have unveiled who is to blame for the dramatic spread of the novel Coronavirus caused disease and surprisingly, it is not China.

Why Coronavirus Spread So Far and Wide, So Fast?

Air travel
Coronavirus pandemic Pexels

It was in December 2019 that the novel coronavirus was found in Wuhan, China but within a few months later it was officially detected in nearly 200 countries, causing a global healthcare crisis. Now, the university's Archaeogenetics Research Group mapped out the dispersal of the novel Coronavirus.

The research was conducted with the help of the University of Minho, in Portugal and ultimately the scientists put their fingers on Europe not China as the main source of the virus spread. Their research confirmed that the virus originated in China and most likely jumped from the horseshoe bats to humans. But the researchers noted that it was the travel originating in Europe that has been the main source of spreading the virus all around the world.

As per the researchers, the travel restrictions in the UK and Europe were implemented much later than they should have. They also detected the actual spread of the SARS-CoV-2 to the US and other parts of the world was mostly via Europe and not directly from China.

Virus Spread in East Asia

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The team of researchers also said that the spread of the COVID-19 during March and April in East Asia also can be traced back to Europe—mostly because of those people who were returning home or Europeans continuing to travel to the continent.

This study was conducted focusing on 27,000 virus genomes, which are sampled from all around the world. These researchers are usually working on tracking human migrations by using mitochondrial DNA. They started the research based on the fact that the Coronavirus genome is similar in crucial respects.

The huge database, even back in May when the researchers began their study, makes this research one of the biggest analyses of its kind ever undertaken. The University of Huddersfield's Professor Martin Richards said that there is a huge ongoing worldwide effort to understand the spread of the virus.

As the world continues to face a rapidly spreading virus caused the infection, Dr. Maria Pala from the university believes that a greater understanding of the pathogen will better inform and improve upon policies designed to control the COVID-19 spread.

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