The coronavirus may have appeared as early as the summer of 2019 in China

Le coronavirus pourrait être apparu dès l’été 2019 en Chine

WASHINGTON | A leap in internet searches of the symptoms of COVID-19, and in the rush in the hospitals in the chinese city of Wuhan, suggests that the disease could appear on-site as early as August 2019, according to the results of a preliminary study american.

The coronavirus, which comes from a virus that can be transmitted from animal to man, was identified for the first time in the market, Huanan Wuhan, China, where exotic animals were sold live, in December 2019.

Experts have determined that a genetic previous of the virus had emerged in mid-November 2019. An article in the daily hong kong South China Morning Post, reported that a “patient zero” had been found on 17 November, citing government data.

The new study, which has not yet appeared in a publication of the scientific community, was carried out under the prism of discipline, yet recent, “the epidemiology digital”.

A team led by Elaine Nsoesie of Boston university analysed 111 satellite images of Wuhan over a period ranging from January 2018 to April 2020.

“A sharp increase in affluence as early as August, 2019” has been detected on the parking lots of hospitals in Wuhan, “culminating with a peak in December 2019”, noted the authors of the research.

Scientists have also monitored the symptoms that are most typed up on the chinese search engine Baidu.

The members of the study have seen a jump in searches of the word “cough”, which can be related to the seasonal flu, but also in the research of the word “diarrhea”, which is a symptom more specific COVID-19.

“In August, we noted a significant increase in research related to the diarrhoea, which had never been observed during seasonal influenza occurs earlier or which was not reflected in the data for research on the cough,” explained the scientists.

If the symptoms the most well-known of the coronavirus are the ones breathing, the study suggests that the diarrhea “may play an important role in the transmission of community”, of the disease.

The authors concluded that if they were not able to assert definitively that the data collected were related to the COVID-19, the study confirmed the findings of other research on the topic.

“These results corroborate the hypothesis that the virus appeared in a natural way in the south of China, and that he was potentially already at the time of the outbreak of Wuhan”, they wrote.

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