PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new report obtained by the Associated Press is detailing where experts believe the spread of COVID-19 began.
According to the report, a joint World Health Organization and China study says the virus most likely came from bats to humans through another animal.
The report says it’s extremely unlikely a lab leak is the origin.
The Associated Press says World Health Organization leaders are almost done with the full report.
In the report, researchers give four scenarios for spread, with bat to human through another animal being the most likely scenario, because the virus carried by bats is evolutionary distant from the one in humans, which suggests a missing link.
Other scenarios include a spread from bats directly to humans.
The report says spread from cold-chain food is possible, but not likely.
It’s also known that mink and cats are susceptible to the COVID virus, suggesting they could be carriers.
The Associated Press says this report has been repeatedly delayed, causing some to question whether China was trying to skew blame away.
“There was a lot of restrictions on the ability of the people who went there to really take a look, then I’m going to have some considerable concern about that,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
This report is largely based on a visit to Wuhan, China by experts in January and February.
A World Health Organization expert says the report is being finalized, fact-checked, and translated.
The full report is expected to go public within the next few days.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 1 million positive cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, with nearly 85,000 of those cases being in Allegheny County.