Where does the coronavirus come from? From animals?

The source of the coronavirus is believed to be a “wet market” in Wuhan, China, which sold both dead and live animals, including fish and birds, and where animals’ bodies were butchered on site. Such markets raise the risk of viruses jumping from animals to humans because hygiene standards are poor, and they are typically densely packed.

The species source of the latest outbreak has not yet been identified, but the original host is thought to be bats. These wild mammals shed viruses when they are stressed, which happens more when they are hunted or their habitat is destroyed.1 Bats were not sold at the Wuhan market but may have infected live chickens or other animals who were sold there.2


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