A World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan, China announced Tuesday that the virus was likely spread from an animal to humans, calling a theory that the virus was released in a lab accident “extremely unlikely.”
“Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific, targeted research,” WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek said.
“However, the findings suggest that the laboratory incidents hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population,” Embarek said. “Therefore it is not a hypothesis that we advise to suggest future studies … into the understanding of the origin of the virus.”
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