The first person to test positive for the new coronavirus from a Wuhan food market where the pandemic likely started was a woman selling live shrimp, according to a document leaked to the media.
Ms. Wei lived in a rented flat less than 500 meters (1,640 feet) from the market and contracted a fever on December 11, she told Chinese newspaper The Paper.
Thinking it was the seasonal flu, she went to a small, busy clinic nearby to get medical advice, but injections did not cure her illness.
Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market (pictured), where the coronavirus pandemic is believed to have started, was one of the largest markets in Wuhan with many customers daily
The market closed on January 1 after dozens of workers contracted the disease
Ms. Wei, presumably recovered, recalled her first symptoms with The Paper: “I felt a little tired, but not as tired as in previous years.
“I always have the flu every winter. So I thought it was the flu. ‘
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in January that the coronavirus was transmitted to humans from wildlife sold as food at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where Ms. Wei worked.
A woman wears a mask as she pushes a wheelbarrow past the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market on January 17. Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in January that the coronavirus was transmitted to humans by wildlife sold as food on the market
The trader said she continued to sell seafood on the market during her illness and later went to a larger hospital, Wuhan’s eleventh hospital, for a second opinion.
“The eleventh hospital doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and gave me pills.”
She took the medicine but didn’t feel any better. She went back to the small clinic to request more injections.
“But then I felt a lot worse and very uncomfortable. I didn’t have enough strength or energy. ‘
Finally, on December 16, she went to one of the city’s largest hospitals, Wuhan Union Hospital, for a proper check-up.
There, a doctor described her illness as “relentless” and told her that several other people from Huanan had already come up with similar symptoms.
“There were a lot of people in the hospital at the time,” she added.
Ms. Wei was one of the first 27 patients diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to a statement from the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission on December 31.
Among them, 24 had direct links to Huanan.
The authority said at the time that there was no evidence that the virus could be passed from person to person.
Of the first 27 coronavirus patients in Wuhan, 24 had direct links to the fish market. In the photo, on January 22, employees sell masks to a man in a Yifeng pharmacy in Wuhan
Still, the identity of the first COVID-19 sufferer, also known as ‘patient zero’, remains a mystery in China.
Although Ms. Wei is the first to test positive in the market, it is reported that the first known coronavirus patient in the 1970s was a bed-bound retiree.
The unnamed man developed symptoms on December 1 and hadn’t been to the fish market beforehand, a doctor said BBC.
However, classified government documents showed that the first case of a person suffering from COVID-19 dates back to November 17, reported South China Morning Post.
It is more than seven weeks before Chinese officials announced they had identified a new virus, and more than two months before several cities in the region were shut down to stem the spread of the bug.
Unpublished data showed that the Chinese authorities identified at least 266 people infected before December 31 – a time when Wuhan authorities were punishing a group of doctors for raising the alarm for a ‘SARS-like’ disease.
Chinese officials claim that the first coronavirus patient fell ill on December 7.
Paramedics move a patient to a hospital in Manhattan, New York City on March 25
Beijing now rejects the generally accepted assessment that the city of Wuhan is the birthplace of the global outbreak after the number of daily infections there had fallen to zero but had risen sharply in Europe.
Dr. Zhong Nanshan, the leader of a team of experts appointed by China to address the health crisis, last week denied that the bug was from Wuhan and dismissed such a claim as “irresponsible.”
“The epidemic of the new coronavirus pneumonia did indeed take place in China, in Wuhan … but that does not mean the source is in Wuhan,” said Dr. Zhong at a news conference.
The pandemic has killed more than 22,000 people to date and infected more than 486,000 worldwide.
China blows out ‘sinister’ US Secretary of State Pompeo after calling bug ‘Wuhan virus’
Pompeo’s call to identify the virus by name as the ‘Wuhan virus’ at a virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Group of 7
China is strongly committed to urging U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to call the deadly new corona virus the “Wuhan virus” after the city in China where it was first discovered.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Thursday that it was an attempt to “stigmatize China and discredit China’s efforts in an effort to divert attention and shift responsibilities.”
“He has a very sinister motive,” Geng told reporters daily.
Geng also defended China’s efforts to tackle the virus and denied that it wanted to place responsibility for the outbreak elsewhere.
China has been accused of attempts to suppress information about the outbreak at an early stage, and some of its diplomats have openly suggested that the virus may have been brought to China from the United States.
Pompeo’s call to identify the virus by name as the “Wuhan virus” at a virtual meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of seven leading industrialized countries resulted in their choice not to release a group statement.
The World Health Organization and others have warned against giving the virus a geographical name due to its global nature.
President Donald Trump has strayed from those terms because critics have said they promote discriminatory feelings and behaviors against Asians and Asian Americans.