And it has become a global pandemic now that more than 533,100 people infected and more than 24,000 have died from it.
However, we never knew who was the first one to have sparked the massive chain of infections because, well, that’s classified information.
But now, thanks to leaked documents, it has been revealed who Patient Zero at the Wuhan seafood market could possibly be.
Wuhan Market’s Patient Zero
It seems that the first person to test positive for COVID-19 was a 57-year-old woman selling live shrimps at the Wuhan market. The woman, named Wei Guixian, first started to develop symptoms on 10 December.
She assumed that she was having flu, because according to her, she always suffers from the flu every winter. Not thinking much about it, she headed to a small local clinic to get some medication before heading back to work.
Now, this is the problem because when she went back to work, she unknowingly started to spread the virus to many others.
She told Chinese news outlet The Paper, “I felt a bit tired, but not as tired as previous years.”
Not Just A Flu
After receiving a jab on 11 December at her local clinic, she thought that it would be better to seek a second opinion at Wuhan’s The Eleventh Hospital since she was still feeling unwell.
She said, “The doctor at The Eleventh Hospital could not figure out what was wrong with me and gave me pills.”
Once again, the pills did not help her to feel better, and she returned to the clinic for more jabs.
“By then, I felt a lot worse and very uncomfortable. I did not have the strength or energy,” Ms Wei said.
After dealing with the flu for several days and not feeling any improvements, she decided that it was time to head to a bigger hospital. On 16 December, she arrived at the Wuhan Union Hospital for a proper check, and the doctor there described her illness as “ruthless”.
She was later informed that she wasn’t the only one who had these symptoms. In fact, many others from Huanan had already come into the hospital prior to her.
After doctors finally realised that the respiratory illness was linked to the seafood market, she was quarantined in late December.
According to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission in a statement released on 31 December, Ms Wei was reportedly one of the first 27 COVID-19 patients, and also one of the 24 cases with direct links to the Wuhan Huanan Market.
A Worldwide Pandemic
Ms Wei was deemed to be fully recovered and was discharged from the hospital in early January.
When asked how she thinks she got infected, she believes that it was from the time she went to the toilet in the market that she shared with other wild meat sellers.
Apparently, the vendors on her left and right at the market were also infected with the virus. Her family members, too, were infected, including one of her daughters and her niece.
There was previously a big commotion about how the Chinese government had prior knowledge of the coronavirus’s potential of becoming a pandemic, but they didn’t act soon enough. She believes that if they did, “a lot fewer people would have died”.
In an article by South China Morning Post, the Chinese government identified 266 people who were infected last year, and they were all placed under medical surveillance at some point.
While the fact remains that Ms Wei could be Patient Zero from the Huanan Market, we still don’t know who the first person in Wuhan to contract the disease is.
Now that Patient Zero has been identified, hopefully scientists will be able to detect the actual origin of the virus.
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