WHO forms group to probe COVID origin

This colorized transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 isolated from a patient in the U.S. Credit: NIAID-RML

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust wildlife health and zoonotic disease to the forefront. Yet researchers are still unsure where the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease, originated. It’s been a controversial question that has divided researchers, who have questioned whether it originated from an animal in the wild or if it escaped from a lab. The World Health Organization has selected a group of 26 scientists, ranging from wildlife biologists to biosafety experts, to form a Scientific Advisory Group for the Origin of Novel Pathogens, or SAGO, to determine the virus’s origin.

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