A determination has not yet been made. I found the link to the article.
"There's really not a clear tree where we have forensic evidence to point to exactly where it came from," said John Connor, a virologist at Boston University who studies emerging infectious diseases. "It looks like it's a bat-derived virus, and there's a big question mark after that."
This week, a World Health Organization delegation of scientists from 10 different nations finally was allowed in the country to explore the virus' origins.
The group of related coronaviruses giving rise to SARS-CoV-2 has existed for decades in bats and likely originated more than 40 years ago, said Dr. Charles Chiu, a professor and expert in viral genomics at the University of California, San Francisco.
SARS-CoV-2 shares 96% of its genetic material with a sample of coronavirus taken in 2013 in Intermediate Horseshoe bats from Yunnan province in China, which suggests the Yunnan virus is its ancestor. How the virus traveled the 1,200 miles from Yunnan to Wuhan remains unknown.
Because the 2013 sample is the only one available, scientists had to undertake genetic analysis to estimate when the bat strain and the strain now circulating among humans diverged. They put the split sometime in the 1960s or 1970s, said Maciej Boni, a professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University's Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, who spent almost a decade working in Asia.
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Your article quotes "How the virus traveled the 1,200 miles from Yunnan to Wuhan remains unknown." I guess they flew (even if none flew 1200 miles, they passed it on like the baton in a relay).
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Please post a link to the article. I checked www.usatoday.com but was not able to find the article you are referring to.
I did find some cartoons regarding COVID:
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