China coronavirus: Calls to ban live animal sales in wet markets to halt future outbreaks
By Guan Yu Lim
- Last updated on
According to one expert in January, sales of live animals at wet markets across China should be banned in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
COVID-19, the heart of an outbreak of viral pneumonia centred on Wuhan in China, was likely to have originated from snakes bought from a wet market and eaten.
After comparing the genetic information of the virus with information already available on other viruses, scientists had found the disease appears to have formed from a combination of a coronavirus found in bats, and another coronavirus originating from snakes.
This unique mix of proteins changed the shape of the receptors that allow the virus to bind onto and infect cells. Researchers said this recombination may have allowed cross-species transmission from snakes to humans.