Wuhan Lab Where Bat Bled And Urinated On Worker Could Be Coronavirus 'Ground Zero'
Researchers believe a research facility in Wuhan where a worker's skin was exposed to bat urine and blood could be the source of the deadly coronavirus.
Scientists from South China University of Technology in Guangzhou have published a paper claiming the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention could be the site where the coronavirus first escaped.
Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao explained the centre “hosted animals in laboratories for research purposes”, including bats, and was “within 280 metres of the Huanan Seafood Market where a number of early infections were reported".
“According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market," the scientists wrote.
The paper titled The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus said a worker at the centre was “once attacked by bats and the blood of a bat (was) shot on his skin."
“He knew the extreme danger of the infection so he quarantined himself for 14 days,” the scientists wrote.
“In another accident, he quarantined himself again because bats (urinated) on him.”
The Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention was also close to the Union Hospital where the first group of doctors were infected, according to AFP.
Another laboratory, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was just 12 kilometres from the seafood market.
Beijing News said the institute labelled claims that the facility could have been the source of the coronavirus as rumours.
"I can promise that not a single person was infected at our institute, including graduate students. We have zero infection cases," Shi Zhengli, a research fellow at the Wuhan Institute of Virology said.
Mainland China has reported 1,665 deaths and 68,500 cases of the coronavirus.