From the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists, doctors and the public have been interested in the question of the origin of the unprecedented threat that has hit humanity. Various versions of the appearance of COVID-19 were expressed in state and social media, accusing bats, biological weapons developers and genetic engineers, various conspirators using the virus as a tool for regulating the population, and even 5G cell tower.
The mission of the World Health Organization (WHO), sent to study the coronavirus origin in Wuhan, where its pandemic began, came to several conclusions. WHO experts called the direct transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from a bat to a person unlikely. The most plausible hypothesis of the coronavirus origin is the transmission from animal to human through an intermediate link.
They stated that the animal that became the source of the new type of coronavirus has not yet been identified. Scientists have not yet discovered a coronavirus in the wildlife, which is a direct precursor to the SARS-CoV-2 strain, despite the similarity of forms found in bats and pangolins (lizards). The hypothesis of the emergence of the coronavirus that caused the pandemic as a result of a laboratory incident was also called “extremely unlikely”.
Additional light on the appearance of COVID-19 can be shed by scientists’ assumptions about the connection of the coronavirus with climate change. So, in a study published in the scientific journal Science of the Total Environment, scientists from the Cambridge University, the Potsdam Institute for the Study of Climate Change and the University of Hawaii concluded that the appearance of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, could be influenced by climate change.
Large-scale climate changes over the past century have occurred in southern China and the bordering areas of Myanmar and Laos. We are talking about an increase in the average temperature and the content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which affected the change in the type of vegetation in these regions.
Climate change has created a suitable habitat for many species of bats, increased their numbers and species diversity, which has worked towards the formation of new types of coronaviruses, including those that are dangerous to humans.
Scientists note that most of the coronaviruses carried by bats are not transmitted to humans. However, an increase of bat species in the number in a particular region, caused by climate change, enhances the likelihood that harmful pathogens for humans may emerge there.