- An ancestor of SARS was present before or around October 2019
- Everyone is curious to know about the new strain after 24th December 2019.
- WHO said in January – patients may never find zero
The reason behind Kovid-19 infection is SARS-Cov-2 virus. Much effort would not have been made to trace its origin if Patient Zero had been found by now. Patient zero is a medical term that refers to the patient in whom the epidemic is first detected. In January this year, the World Health Organization said that we will “never be able to find out who Patient Zero was.”
But there was a way to trace the ancestor of the virus. The molecular epidemiologist, originally from Delhi, has traced the history of the virus, the ancestor of SARS-Cov-2, with the data. According to this the proginator, or ancestor genome, was around since at least October 2019 and survived until March 2020. This ancestor virus was found in the genome of the corona virus, which spreads infection from person to person.
Dr Sudhir Kumar, Director, Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine, Temple University, told the Times of India that after 24 December 2019 (when the first case was reported) everyone was curious to know about the new strain. He said that we also wanted to know which strain came first. He said that we can tell you the time of the presence of the virus, the ancestor of this corona virus. This was before or around October 2019.
Two months before the first case, the prediction was made about the reference genome sequence, which is now being used. But the ancestral virus was not over. Kumar said that “we found that part of the virus released was present even after spreading the infection. It was present in China in January 2020 and in the US in March 2020.
According to Dr. Sudhir Kumar, mutation was not needed for the ancestral virus to spread. “It was ready to spread on its own. SARSCoV-2 is its grandson, which is three mutations later. To reach this conclusion, Kumar and his team used a mutation order analysis procedure. This process is often used for tumors.” This study was published in the finding Oxford Academic Journal ‘Molecular Biology and Evolution’.
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