Researchers point out that the new coronavirus may have begun to spread in the fall of 2019



The existence of the novel coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) was officially notified from China to WHO on December 31, 2019, and on January 23, 2020, Wuhan City, China, was locked to prevent the spread of the virus. It was down. For this reason, COVID-19 was thought to have been a rage since the beginning of 2020, but in fact

it has been pointed out that it may have already spread in France in December 2019. And newly, researchers analyzed satellite photos of Wuhan and Internet search results, and pointed out that the virus may have already spread by the fall of 2019.

Analysis of hospital traffic and search engine data in Wuhan China indicates early disease activity in the Fall of 2019
https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/42669767

Satellite data suggests coronavirus may have hit China earlier: Researchers-ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/International/satellite-data-suggests-coronavirus-hit-china-earlier-researchers/story?id=71123270



Investigating the origin of new viruses is usually very difficult, but COVID-19 is more complicated because China refused to cooperate fully with global health authorities.

So Harvard Medical Professor John Brownstein and researchers at Boston University used a method used by intelligence agencies to analyze commercial satellite images to determine the number of cars around hospitals in Wuhan over the past few years. The investigation confirmed 'a dramatic increase in the number.'

“If the car park is full, then the hospital is busy. More cars and more busy hospitals mean something is happening within the community. And people have to go to their doctors,” said Braunstein.

The research team confirmed that the number of cars has surged in multiple hospitals in 2019. The colored graph below shows the transition of the number of cars at the 6 hospitals in Wuhan, and you can see that the graph jumped up before entering November.



According to the research team, on October 10, 2018, Wuhan Tenyu Hospital had 171 cars in line, but on October 17, 2019, there were 285 cars, a 67% increase in the number of cars.



Other hospitals also saw a 90% increase in the number of vehicles confirmed between fall 2018 and fall 2019, the researchers say. The graph jump at Wuhan Tongji Medical University was confirmed from mid-September 2019.



In addition to the amount of cars around the hospital, Braunstein and his colleagues investigated trends in China's leading search engine Baidu search during the same period. The number of search queries for “cough,” which is one of the respiratory symptoms, fluctuates every year in a manner that coincides with the influenza epidemic, but researchers believe that influenza does not have diarrhea and is a COVID-19-specific symptom. It was. Therefore, we graphed the two search conditions for cough and diarrhea, and confirmed that the two increased at the same time in December when the pandemic started. In addition, it was confirmed that the number of vehicles in the area increased at the same time that the number of vehicles confirmed at the hospital increased.



From the findings, the researchers say the hospital vehicle data was 'more convincing.'

Although Brownstein admits that this data alone is not definitive and needs to be further researched, Graph points out the fact that 'something happened' in Wuhan at some point. I will. In addition, while Center for Discovery and Innovation chief scientific officer David Perlin said the research was 'intriguing,' he said, 'There are doubts about some methods, and their interpretation is somewhat expanded. 'I'm always worried about starting with inference from a subset of the data, the cherry-picking subset. These are implicit.'

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