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Covid Lab Leak Theory Needs More Inquiry, WHO Advisers Say

  • Source of the pandemic is still largely a mystery, report says
  • Scientific advisers eyeing animal and environmental spillover
This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, isolated from a patient. 

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, isolated from a patient. 

Source: BSIP/IMAGE POINT FR/NIH/NIAID/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

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More information and research are needed to investigate the possibility that a laboratory incident was the source of the coronavirus strain that set off the pandemic, World Health Organization advisers said in a report. 

Review of all activities at the laboratory studying coronaviruses in Wuhan, where the outbreak began, would be needed to determine whether it played a role in releasing the virus into the world, the WHO’s Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens, said Thursday in its first full report since forming in October. Further study of a market that’s also been identified as another possible source are also necessary, the report said.