While so far it is believed that the COVID-19 originated in China in December a new Harvard research puts more light on it. As per the research by the University the virus started it’s spread in August last year. Though China recorded its first case in December 2019 the spread started earlier. The report from Reuters has bought this to highlights.
Harvard’s research involving satellite images of hospital travel patterns and search engine data from China has revealed the fact. Harvard researchers used satellite imagery of hospital parking lots from Wuhan the center of the outbreak. They also looked at data for symptom-related queries on search engines for things such as “cough” and “diarrhea”.
“Increased hospital traffic and symptom search data in Wuhan preceded the documented start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in December 2019,” says the research report. “In August, we identify a unique increase in searches for diarrhea which was neither seen in previous flu seasons or mirrored in the cough search data,” adds the research report.
However, it also said that it cannot confirm that these data directly relates to the new virus or not. “These findings also corroborate the hypothesis that the virus emerged naturally in southern China and was potentially already circulating at the time of the Wuhan cluster”, says the report. Meanwhile, China who is already under the hammer for hiding the spread has rubbished the report.