Who were the first people to catch COVID-19? – report

Science and Health

The first people to catch the novel coronavirus, which has severely impacted the world, were three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China, according to a recent Substack article report from Tuesday that cites US government sources.

The report states that the first people include WIV researcher Ben Hu, who led the institute’s research on SARS-like coronaviruses that increased the viruses’ infectiousness. The other two researchers suspected to have leaked the virus are Yu Ping and Yan Zhu. 

The report also claims that WIV researchers were developing COVID-like diseases in November 2019 and had been working with “the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2.” However, the report admits that it is unknown who in the US government had access to the information on the three WIV researchers.

Furthermore, the US Director of National Intelligence will reportedly announce the aforementioned names within classified material that is expected to release next week, Substack reports.

The US State Department stated shortly after President Joe Biden took office in January 2021 that the government has evidence “to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19.”

SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus behind COVID-19 (Illustrative). (credit: fusion medical animation/unsplash)

Other sources have claimed different origins of the virus

There have been other reports that claim that the first person to contract the virus was someone different.

For example, the South China Morning Post reported on November 2019 that the first person to contract it was a 55-year-old in the Hubei province of the country, citing government records at the time.

Another example would be in a study conducted two years after the aforementioned report, where the journal Science concluded that the first person to catch the virus was a vendor in an animal market – also located in Wuhan.