Wow, China Virus or Spain Virus???

Discussion in 'Coronavirus Pandemic Discussions' started by CenterField, Dec 1, 2020.

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  1. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I can't believe that I missed this, somehow. I was aware of the Federal University of Santa Catarina study that found the SARS-CoV-2 in Florianópolis, a state capital in Brazil, in a sewage sample collected (and frozen) on November 27, 2019.

    But I missed this MUCH earlier occurrence: apparently, the University of Barcelona, Spain, found the virus in frozen sewage samples collected in Barcelona on March 12, 2019!!!

    Nine freaking months before the virus emerged in China!!!

    So, interesting enough, maybe the SARS-CoV-2 didn't even originate in China!

    This is the University of Barcelona's page in English, talking about it:

    https://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/menu_eines/noticies/2020/06/042.html

    And this is the actual study, still not peer-reviewed (you can see it when you click on "Preview PDF")

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.13.20129627v1

    Another interesting question is, why wasn't this more talked about at the time? This study was published on June 13, 2020 and the University's article is from June 26th. After I googled other references to this finding, I did locate them in lay press articles (like a report of it from Reuters). But I never saw it really talked about everywhere (not even in the scientific community).

    Why was this largely missed? Just so that we can keep blaming China?
     
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  2. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    I will not be surprised if at some point it’s admitted our 2019-2020 flu season that was abnormally severe wasn’t all influenza.
     
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  3. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Turnabout is fair play. Spain took the rap for China’s “Spanish flu”, now China gets blamed for Spain’s Wu Flu. If we believe it wasn’t in China earlier than they admit...

    Certainly interesting findings.
     
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  4. truth and justice

    truth and justice Well-Known Member

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    These reports were published on MSM sites months ago but quickly brushed under the carpet by a particular powerful government who wanted to blame China for political reasons.
     
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  5. truth and justice

    truth and justice Well-Known Member

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    I wrote this on July 17th:
    "Spain and Denmark have reported that mink can be carriers of the virus which can then be passed onto humans. Thousands of mink in mink farms are currently being culled. Not long ago we saw news that the virus was discovered in Spanish sewage water going back to march 2019. More and more evidence that the virus did not originate in China but in Europe. Perhaps explains why the virus appears to be more virulent in Europe than it was in China"
     
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  6. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member

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    Whitewashing for China? Really? CDC announced yesterday that donated blood from fall 2019 also showed antibodies. China started warning in Sept last year. Ask why the Chinese govt went to such lengths to blame the wet market in Wuhan. Interesting that you seem to always leave out most of the story...
     
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  7. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Excellent point.
     
  8. Eleuthera

    Eleuthera Well-Known Member Donor

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    There were similar discoveries in the northeastern US posted in stories written months ago.

    Plandemic
     
  9. Jestsayin

    Jestsayin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Understand this,
     
  10. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    It would shoot the cross reactivity common cold coronavirus T cell theory to pieces, but what if long term existence of this bugger is actually the source of that hypothetical phenomenon?
     
  11. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Well, the Barcelona study seems to contradict it. Maybe it doesn't "come" from China but was first "recognized" in China. It was in Spain 9 months before it was recognized in China.
     
  12. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Yes, maybe the virus started by being less virulent and less infectious and was dormant in other places, causing some of the immunity phenomenon, then at some point suffered a mutation and exploded.

    I saw in a comment written by some dude in one of the articles that "China tried to blame Spain but it's been debunked." I saw no evidence that the finding of the University of Barcelona was debunked. But this thing is so politicized that one never knows. Even the scientific community may be influenced by politics.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  13. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Quite plausible.
    Agree again. We can hypothesize with the information we have access to, but we know all governments lie, so we’ll likely never know the whole story.
     
  14. Golem

    Golem Well-Known Member Donor

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    If I'm not mistaken SARS-CoV-2 has been around for a long time in animals. The problem started when a strain mutated in such a way that it could be transmitted from animals to humans.

    China's failure is not the fact that they just happened to be the country where this mutation took place. But because they failed to alert the world as soon as they knew this. When all this is over the Chinese government must be held accountable. Strong sanctions are in order. As well as international guidelines on when a country should communicate to the world that there is an epidemic. Which, it is obvious, China exceeded beyond any reasonable criteria. But none of this removes the fact that most people who call it "China Virus" do so as an expression of racism
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
  15. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Here is what is known (and not known) about animals and the SARS-CoV-2, from a number of sources:

    For how long it was in animal reservoirs before it jumped species to humans, is not known but it is estimated that the lineage that resulted in the SARS-CoV-2 has been in bats for several decades. The reason why we think that the SARS-CoV-2 was originally a bat virus, is that the genomic sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 is just 4% different from other bat coronaviruses, which may have been the evolutionary ancestors of the SARS-CoV-2.

    A paper published in July, 2020, traced the origins of SARS-CoV-2. The researchers concluded that it came from a virus circulating in horseshoe bats. The fact that SARS-CoV-2 was first recognized in Wuhan, China, far from where the horseshoe bat is found, hints at the presence of an intermediary. Some have posited that the Sunda pangolin could be this missing link. Pangolins have reportedly fallen sick as a result of coronavirus infection, which would mean they are not a natural reservoir. But that leaves the possibility that the pangolin is facilitating transmission to humans.

    I do not know what the finding of the University of Barcelona means in terms of animal reservoirs but I do know that the horseshoe bat is also found in Barcelona. It is quite ubiquitous. Its habitat and range include Africa, Australia, Asia, and... Europe. It's been established with reasonable certainty that the first SARS came from a horseshoe bat, the Rhinolophus sinicus.

    Researchers examining coronaviruses and bats are used to working with large numbers. A 2017 study of 12,333 bats from Latin America, Africa, and Asia found that almost 9% carried at least one of 91 distinct coronaviruses. The authors estimated that there are at least 3,200 coronaviruses that infect bats. Moreover, there are over 1,400 species of bat. Figuring out which ones are susceptible to which coronaviruses is no small task.

    If the virus had been human-made, that would show in its genome. If you tried to create a coronavirus that can be transmitted to and from humans, you would almost certainly start with the first SARS virus. SARS-CoV-2 is like nothing we have seen before. It really is highly unlikely that someone created it; it is not put together from pieces we know about. SARS-CoV-2 is closely related to other beta coronaviruses such as RaTG13, a bat virus that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been working on. But it only shares 96% of its genome sequence with the RaTG13, which makes them roughly as similar as human beings and chimpanzees, and points to a common ancestor rather than one springing from the other.

    Recent experimental research shows that in addition to horseshoe bats (which are insectivore) and pangolins, cats, dogs, ferrets, fruit bats, hamsters, and tree shrews can become infected with the virus. Cats, ferrets, fruit bats, and hamsters can also spread the infection to other animals of the same species in laboratory settings. Dogs can get infected but might not spread the virus to other dogs as easily as cats and ferrets can spread the virus to other cats and ferrets. A number of studies have investigated non-human primates as models for human infection. Rhesus macaques, cynomolgus macaques, Grivets (African green monkeys), and common marmosets can become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 and become sick in a laboratory setting. Laboratory mice, pigs, chickens, and ducks do not seem to become infected or spread the infection based on results from studies. Minks can become infected and pass it on to other minks in large numbers. It's been hypothesized that minks can pass it on to humans like workers in mink farms and it may have happened in the Netherlands and Denmark. Pets and dogs so far have not been proven to being able to pass it on to humans, thankfully.

    -------------

    About China - maybe the virus jumped species elsewhere; finding it in Spain 9 months before it surfaced in China and in Brazil 1 month before, are suggestive finds, indicating that this virus maybe had worldwide circulation, in a dormant and less virulent stage, before the Wuhan outbreak. But yes, China was definitely guilty of delaying the notification to the WHO. They certainly did have the first massive outbreak, even if it didn't originate there. It's been said that they delayed the notification in order to gobble up all the PPE. They were busy cancelling export contracts so that all the N95 masks, etc., remained in China. That is indeed despicable. Due to the shortage of N95s that China created, in France the government passed a low saying that attempts to hoard N95s were a felony, and said that N95s were restricted to healthcare workers. Well, the Chinese Embassy in Paris tried to smuggle N95s made in China to Chinese nationals who live in Paris (like exchange students). They were caught, then claimed diplomatic immunity. Again, quite despicable.

    So regardless of where the first SARS-CoV-2 jumped from (likely) horseshoe bats to humans (it could have happened in Barcelona and a Catalan businessman traveling to China, or a Chinese tourist visiting Barcelona, could have carried the virus to Wuhan), once it was recognized as causing an outbreak of human disease, immediate notification to the WHO should have happened, and it didn't. Also, while China restricted internal travel and cordoned out Wuhan, they did not limit in any way their nationals from traveling to other countries, in another example of selfish behavior.

    I do not want to appear racist because this behavior is not linked to race, but I do have the impression that the Chinese have a cultural attitude of "Mother China First and f... the others" although I'm aware that this is a generalization. I've had personal interactions with Chinese nationals where they displayed a very callous and selfish attitude of "getting ahead by cheating is normal and expected." A Chinese student of mine said it in all words. She was a true Chinese, here for a post-doc; not a Chinese-American. At some point, there was a problem we were trying to solve, and she proposed a solution to which I said "no, we can't do that; it is unethical and fraudulent; it is cheating." Her answer: "So what? Cheating is good. One needs to get ahead in life and it's hard to do it without cheating." That she so blatantly acknowledged it to a professor, apparently thinking that it was such a normal and acceptable attitude that she shouldn't refrain from disclosing it to a professor, betrays a cultural attitude that is quite peculiar.

    I do believe that the world should retaliate and impose sanctions on China. What they did is not acceptable.
     
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  16. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Update:

    The University of Barcelona finding of the virus in Spain on March 12, 2019, is now being questioned as possibly due to contamination.

    https://theconversation.com/was-coronavirus-really-in-europe-in-march-2019-141582

    However, this study is MUCH more robust and conclusive:

    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0300891620974755

    The virus seemed to be unequivocally present in Italy in September of 2019, and in a quite numerous number of cases. 23 Italians in September, and 27 in October, retrospectively tested positive, in samples that had been collected and saved for a study having to do with lung cancer.

    Haha, so maybe the title of my thread should change to Italy Virus instead of Spain Virus.

    Anyway, with the multiplication of such studies (summarized here: https://www.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-circulating-europe-china-months-205102397.html ), it's becoming clearer that the Wet Market in Wuhan was probably just a superspreader event that was first to be recognized, but this virus has probably originated elsewhere.

    And no, it's not man made. Whoever is not a specialist should not bother reading the next paragraph, but it does contain the evidence that it's a natural virus:

    The genome of Coronaviruses, ranging from 26 to 32 kilobases in length, includes a variable number of open reading frames (ORFs). The SARS-CoV-2 genome was reported to possess 14 ORFs encoding 27 proteins. The spike surface glycoprotein plays an essential role in binding to receptors on the host cell and is crucial for determining host tropism and transmission capacity, mediating receptor binding and membrane fusion. Generally, the spike protein of Coronaviruses is functionally divided into the S1 domain, responsible for receptor binding, and the S2 domain, responsible for cell membrane fusion. The eight accessory proteins (3a, 3b, p6, 7a, 7b, 8b, 9b, and orf14) and four major structural proteins, including the spike surface glycoprotein (S), small envelope protein (E), matrix protein (M), and nucleocapsid protein (N), are located in the 3′-terminus of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. When researchers compare the SARS-CoV-2 with the SARS-CoV at the amino acid level, they found the SARS-CoV-2 was quite similar to the SARS-CoV, but there were some notable differences in the 8a, 8b, and 3b proteins. When researchers compared the SARS-CoV-2 with the MERS-CoV, they found that the SARS-CoV-2 was distant from and less related to the MERS-CoVs. From the phylogenetic tree based on whole genomes, the SARS-CoV-2 is parallel to the SARS-like bat CoVs, while the SARS-CoV has descended from the SARS-like bat CoV lineage, indicating that SARS-CoV-2 is closer to the SARS-like bat CoVs than the SARS-CoVs based on the whole-genome sequence. Analysis of the genome from nine patients’ samples also confirmed that the SARS-CoV-2 was more similar to two SARS-like bat CoVs from Zhoushan in eastern China, bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21, than to the SARS-CoV and the MERS-CoV. At the whole-genome level, the SARS-CoV-2 shares an 87.99% sequence identity with the bat-SL-CoVZC45 and 87.23% sequence identity with the bat-SL-CoVZXC2, less genetically similar to the SARS-CoV (about 79%) and MERS-CoV (about 50%). At the protein level, the lengths of most of the proteins encoded by the SARS-CoV-2, the bat-SL-CoVZC45, and the bat-SL-CoVZXC21 were similar, with only a few minor insertions or deletions.

    If you want more details and can comprehend them, they can be found here (an excellent article):

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7159086/
     
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  17. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    I think it’s pretty clear SARS-CoV-2 is a recombinant novel virus. I’ve seen some posts recently claiming SARS-CoV-2 is a mutant (antigenic drift product) of SARS-CoV, but I can’t find any evidence supporting that theory. Everything points in the same direction as your links here.

    Kind of tangential, but I think mutation of viruses has kind of been overplayed in media, entertainment, etc., leading the public to think all changes in viruses are results of point mutation. Recombination isn’t on anyone’s radar that isn’t into virology or genetics. It makes novel viruses like this harder to accept by the public without resorting to human manipulation as an explanation. I could be wrong, that’s just my perception.
     
  18. ronv

    ronv Well-Known Member

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    If I remember correctly it has been postulated that the virus was carried from Wuhan to Italy. But indeed, who is to say it was not the other way around.
     
  19. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Exactly. If this virus was circulating first in Italy three months before it emerged in China, it could perfectly be the other way around.
     
  20. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Indeed, as evidenced by the SARS-CoV-2 being about 87% to 88% identical to two bat coronaviruses, and only 79% identical to the SARS-CoV, this virus is not a mutant from SARS-CoV.
    No, actually, this virus doesn't seem to have evolved out of recombination, according to the source I linked to, above. Here:

    "Recombination has been seen frequently in coronaviruses. As expected, we detected recombination in the Sarbecoviruses analysed here. Our results suggest that recombination events are complex and are more likely occurring in bat coronaviruses than in 2019-nCoV. Hence, despite its occurrence, recombination is probably not the reason for emergence of this virus."

    "As a typical RNA virus, the average evolutionary rate for coronaviruses is roughly 10−4 nucleotide substitutions per site per year, with mutations arising during every replication cycle."

    All changes in viruses indeed are not results of point mutation, but it does seem that for this one, it's the case. But no, there is no evidence of human manipulation. It's a natural occurrence.
     
  21. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    I think more recent research shows the Receptor Binding Motif of SARS-CoV-2 is nearly identical to that of a pangolin coronavirus. While point mutations may have occurred after recombination events, recombination is observed in the bat component of SARS-CoV-2 and in the addition of pangolin RBM to the bat portion, allowing the use of ACE2 receptors in humans to facilitate infection.

    The second half of the sentence in the pull quote above refers to possible further recombination being found. Here is the complete sentence.


    Sure enough, later studies found pangolin components in SARS-CoV-2. Pull quote with link to study following.

    https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/27/eabb9153
     
  22. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    OK, then. You convinced me. My link was indeed old, before the pangolin hypothesis showed up.
     
  23. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    What would really help in these situations would be if the publishing community standardized reporting of peer review passage, publishing date, and date research or data collection completed. Preferably requiring all that information in the first line of the abstract.

    When peer review takes months, pre-prints are more common, and even the publishing date is often hard to find, let alone date of research conclusion, it’s very hard to determine what is the most up to date information.

    Just my humble opinion.
     
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  24. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The WHO is currently leading a mission in China to try to understand how the pandemic started.

    A virus 92.4% homologous to the SARS-CoV-2 was found in a pangolin in China, therefore even closer than the ones found in bats, thus enhancing the hypothesis of the pangolin being the intermediate vector between bats and humans. Minks and civet cats may also be implicated.

    The Wuhan wet market is more and more considered as a superspreader event rather than the initial one. A man in Wuhan province but not linked to the Wuhan wet market was likely the first retrospectively diagnosed case in China, whose symptoms started on November 17.

    Like I said above, there are numerous cases of positive antibodies in Italy as far back as September, however, these are based on antibodies and not RNA evidence and could theoretically be due to cross-immunity. Also, it would be unusual to see a virus emerging somewhere without thousands of people becoming ill simultaneously. However for some reason, low-level transmission in Italy and Spain are still possible as the real original outbreak, with the virus gaining virulence later through a mutation, and with it being carried from Europe to China by tourists or businessmen, and exploding in China. So the hypothesis that the true origin was in Europe is not completely discarded. Let's remember that similar species of bats do exist in Europe as well.

    The WHO is saying that bats in a larger Asian area might have been the original reservoir: Wuhan but also Guangdong, and regions in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos.

    Still, the WHO is saying that while other hypotheses can't be discarded as of now, the most likely origin is bats in Central or Southern China.

    Again, there is NO evidence whatsoever that this virus was man-made or tampered with, or even the product of an accident in the Wuhan virology lab (which is BSL-4, the highest security rating). These are silly conspiracy theories, not supported by genome sequencing. The research is trying to find the original animal reservoir and trying to understand how it jumped species, which is information that is useful in terms of preventing future outbreaks. No serious scientist entertains the notion that this virus was man-made.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  25. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    I read about it in the German News Paper FAZ about 5 month ago. But never heard anything about it again.
     

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