“Lab virus? I don’t think so and I don’t care”

by time news

The coronavirus born in the laboratory? “I don’t know, I don’t think it’s likely, I don’t believe it for now, but I’m waiting to see the data that would prove it. Honestly, however, as a doctor, immunologist and clinician, I can’t care less”. The debate on the origin – natural or ‘artificial’ – of the pandemic pathogen is not exciting Sergio Abrignani, immunologist at the State University of Milan and member of the technical-scientific committee for the Covid emergency. Because regardless of where it came from, he explains to Adnkronos Salute, the new coronavirus remains “a virus that we will carry with us for a long, long time and that will be part of our lives. Understanding its origin – assures the expert – does not change anything. from the point of view of the efforts we must make to stem it “. While the hypothesis of a ‘laboratory spillover’ gains supporters in the scientific world, and in the aftermath of a research anticipated by the ‘Daily Mail’ according to which two researchers have found the genetic evidence supporting it, Abrignani says he is “skeptical. A it does not seem credible to me, but science is the house of doubt so we are waiting for these data to be announced. However it seems unlikely to me – he specifies – because already in 2002 a first beta-coronavirus, which was CoV1, jumped from the bat to civet and then to humans. Another beta-coronavirus in 2012 jumped from the bat to the dromedary and then to humans. In 2019, Sars-CoV-2 arrived “and even if a bridge animal has not yet been identified,” it is not always possible to find it. It is not that the fact of not finding it means that the virus comes out of a laboratory “.

“It is a debate that is reviving conspiracy theorists, those who believe that we have never gone to the Moon”, observes the specialist. “And in any case – he repeats – from a medical and health point of view, in relation to everything we are doing to control the pandemic”, eventually discovering that the Covid coronavirus does not come from the Wuhan market, but from a laboratory in the Chinese megalopolis , “it would not change our actions one iota. It is just something that, if proven, could have geopolitical importance, because it would mean that China has lied in a shameless way and this would have consequences in international relations. that we study the virus does not change anything “.

“Among other things – reflects Abrignani – we may not be the definitive host of Sars-CoV-2, considering that we humans have already passed it on to other animals, for example minks: we have had 20 million, 17 million slaughtered. of which in Denmark and 3 million in the rest of Europe of which half a million between Veneto and Lombardy. We had them slaughtered “even though” we now know with certainty that the poor were infected by cats and domestic dogs, to which the virus we passed it “. Ultimately, “I realize that everything that smacks of conspiracy always has a certain charm in most people, but I – concludes the CTS immunologist – remain skeptical and not very interested”.

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