Covid-19's first case was registered in december of 2019, in Wuhan, in China. However, the virus could have been circulating in the country two months earlier, starting in October. That's what indicates a new study published on Thursday (24).

Scientists at the University of Kent in Great Britain estimate that SARS-CoV-2 must have first appeared between October and just over mid-November 2019 in China. In January 2020, when the world began to be on alert because of the disease, the pathogen was already spread across several countries.

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Emergence of Covid-19 in China in October 2019

This shows that although the initial outbreak was in Wuhan, the virus may have emerged elsewhere in the Asian country. THE WHO acknowledged the possibility in a joint public survey with China, where it is said that there is a chance that SARS-CoV-2 appeared less effectively elsewhere before migrating to the seafood market.

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In this Thursday's survey, experts took sequencing data from the first recorded cases of the disease and the samples did not prove to be an original version of the virus, but rather a sequence of a pathogen that was already in circulation. The article published on Thursday in PLOS Pathogens still needs to go through revisions.

“Why would scientists ask international databases to delete important data that tells us about how Covid-19 started in Wuhan?” said Alina Chan, a researcher at the Broad Institute of Harvard. Covid-19 virus samples collected in China still need to undergo testing to confirm their origin between October and November 2019.

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