The World Health Organization has released its plan for how it intends to search for the origins of SARS-CoV-2, Nature News reports, adding that the search may prove to be tricky.
The search, it adds, is to begin in Wuhan, China, before expanding elsewhere. Most researchers think the virus originated in bats, and some suspect it may have also spent time in an intermediary animal before jumping into humans, it notes. However, Nature News adds that finding the source of the virus could take years. "Finding an animal with a SARS-CoV-2 infection is like looking for a needle in the world's largest haystack. They may never find a 'smoking bat,'" Columbia University's Angela Rasmussen tells it.
The search, it adds, may further be hampered by politics, as US President Donald Trump has tried to blame China for the spread of the virus and as China has tried to distance itself from the virus.
A WHO spokesperson tells Nature News that the search will follow the science and "will be open-minded, iterative, not excluding any hypothesis that could contribute to generating evidence and narrowing the focus of research."