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SARS was a Chinese virus. CoVID-19 is too. Fight me.

This is a thread about how we've been down this road before.

Thanks to @almostjingo @chiIIum @themarketswork @TheLastRefuge2 @tracybeanz for the inspiration. (1)
2/ SARS (or Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is short for "SARS-CoV". The CoV means Coronavirus. There are thousands of types of variants of coronavirus and the first SARS-CoV variant caused over 900 deaths with thousands more infected.
3/ Scientists know A LOT about how that one started and how/where it spread thanks to a multinational effort led by Hong Kong researchers. Chinese health officials made it difficult however in the early stages for groups like WHO to get valuable info (sound familiar?).
4/ It is now settled science that the SARS outbreak originated in CHINA in November 2002. In the city of Foshan in the Guangdong Province of Southern China to be exact.
SOURCE (which is a great read) from UCLA:…
5/ It is also settled science that this variant of coronavirus was zoonotic (transmitted from animals to human) and originated in a live wet market in Foshan where wild animals were being handled/killed/sold for food.
Another good source:…
6/ The detailed contact tracing that was done found that the majority of early SARS cases in November 2002 involved individuals closely involved (food handlers, butchers) in the wild animal food markets in this area of China.
7/ Given that fact, scientists were able to completely isolate/identify/replicate the virus and compare it to those found in these markets and it matched with over 99% certainty to this adorable creature…the masked palm civet. (Eff anyone who wants to eat this little guy)
8/ Again, this is settled science. Another close match came from another Chinese wet market delicacy of that region… the raccoon dog (the name is self-explanatory but here’s a nice shot)
9/ Both of these lovely creatures are natural predators to the likely original carrier of the virus that would eventually cause the havoc. That creature is the horseshoe bat. Not as cute but still an important character in our story.
10/ That should have ended China's exotic wet market business, right? Alas, read this exchange from a breezy NPR interview from @ailsachang & @sichinafood from January 22, 2020 (right as the world was finding out about the new Chinese Virus from Wuhan):…
11/ “Eating wild animal is considered a symbol of wealth because they are more rare & expensive. (They are) considered more natural &, thus, nutritious....Of course, some people eat wild animals just because they were driven by curiosity.”

NPR’s Ailsa Chang: “(Laughter).”

12/ Back to SARS...For 4 months, hundreds of people became infected by this novel virus in China. The Chinese health authorities kept a tight lid on it until an infected Chinese individual traveled to Hong Kong in February 2003.
13/ That person stayed at a hotel in Hong Kong, threw up on a carpet in a hallway of the 9th floor and ended up infecting 10 other hotel guests. Lovely.

Those infections did open the eyes of scientists outside of China.
14/ The most remarkable story of that SARS outbreak involves another infected Chinese individual who traveled to visit his brother in March 2003 at the Amoy Gardens high rise apartment complex in Hong Kong.
15/ He was a 33 year old from Shenzhen, China with a history of renal disease. Get ready.
16/ During his visit, he had a bout diarrhea while using his brother’s bathroom. Within the next month, over 300 (!) cases of SARS came from this apartment complex. 😮
17/ From the UCLA paper: “Subsequent study suggested that the secondary cases in Block E were due to aerosolization of contaminated sewage through floor vents when toilets were flushed and exhaust fans in bathrooms were switched on.” Holy. Effing. Shit.
18/ Again, this is happening in March 2003. The world was just getting wind of what had been happening in China for several months.
19/ The scientists (mainly from Hong Kong) were able to completely identify/serotype the variant at this point but they even admitted that luck was involved. It helped them develop accurate testing which enabled tracing measures which helped mitigate the spread.
20/ Meanwhile, China was STILL trying to avoid scrutiny and wasn’t giving WHO access it needed. Look at this article from @nytimes on March 27, 2003:…
21/ “For months, Chinese officials tried to hide the problem, health experts said, and in recent weeks world health officials have applied increasing pressure on China to improve its cooperation and statistical reporting on the disease.” 🖕
22/ Bottom line: In March 2003, China wasn’t the world power it is now. The CCP was in charge but Xi Jinping’s CCP is way more secretive/powerful/dangerous. The world is also a much smaller place.
23/ Wuhan, where the new virus started at/near a wet market, is a bustling hub for travelers. The direct line into the area of Italy from these folks led to countless deaths there. Listen to @tracybeanz & @politicalorgy podcast to better understand:…
24/ SARS 1.0 was definitively MADE IN CHINA. Same with the new one. It’s not necessarily the Chinese people to blame but their leaders’ decision to keep this quiet has led to a global pandemic. China effed up… again.
25/ Now we’re here, and China is doing the exact same thing. Meanwhile, the American press is worried about offending the Chinese by calling it the Chinese Virus. Insanity. This virus was #MadeInChina and their lack of transparency has led to dead Americans. END/
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