In the year since COVID-19 reached North America, scientists are still trying to understand the path of the virus from a bat in China to a global pandemic. While Chinese researchers have been investigating since January, USA Today reports, a World Health Organization delegation of scientists from 10 different nations has now been allowed to explore the virus’ origins. Researchers believe it began with a horseshoe bat in China, but they are uncertain if it spread directly to humans or if it infected other animals first, and they are unsure how it apparently spread 1,200 from a bat in Yunnan Province to Wuhan, where the first outbreak was documented.
“There’s really not a clear tree where we have forensic evidence to point to exactly where it came from,” virologist John Connor told USA Today. “It looks like it’s a bat-derived virus, and there’s a big question mark after that.”