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WHO: Evidence suggests virus came from animal, not lab

WHO: Evidence suggests virus came from animal, not lab
Posted at 2:53 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 17:53:00-04

During a news briefing in Geneva on Tuesday, the World Health Organization said researchers have possibly found the origin of the coronavirus: animals.

"At this stage, it is not possible to determine precisely the source of the virus which caused the COVID-19 pandemic," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said. "However, all available evidence suggests that the virus has a natural animal origin and is not a manipulated or constructed virus. The virus most probably has its ecological reservoir in bats ."

Though the evidence shows that the conoravirus originated in China, China hasn't been upfront about the outbreak.

Chaib added that people need to remember the facts, not falsehoods, when it comes to knowing more about the virus.

"Our collective focus needs to be on facts, not fear," Chaib said. "Part of the "infodemic" of falsehoods on social media and in media involves spurious theories about the origin of the virus. As a science-based organization, WHO encourages researchers around the world to join forces to understand COVID-19's origins. Many researchers have been able to look at its genomic features -- and they have found that the evidence does not support the idea that the underlying virus is a laboratory construct."

Chaib said the WHO will continue to collaborate with experts and countries to find ways to control the virus and identifying the source in China.