The first person to test positive for the novel corona virus at a food market in Wuhan, where the pandemic was likely to start, was a woman selling live shrimp, according to a document leaked to the media.
Ms. Wei lived in a rented apartment less than 500 meters from the market and got a fever on December 11, she told the Chinese news agency The Paper.
She thought it was seasonal flu and went to a small and crowded nearby clinic for medical advice, but injections didn’t cure her illness.
The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market (picture), where the coronavirus pandemic was probably triggered, was one of the largest markets in Wuhan with many customers every day
The market closed on January 1 after dozens of workers there contracted the disease
The paper did not reveal Ms. Wei’s full identity, but according to the Wall Street Journal, she is 57 years old and her full name is Wei Guixian.
Ms. Wei, who is believed to have recovered, remembered her first symptoms at 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. ‘
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced in January that the coronavirus had been 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 Seafood Wholesale Market on January 17th. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in January that the coronavirus had been transmitted to humans from wild animals 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 doctor at the eleventh hospital couldn’t find 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 ask about more injections.
“But then I felt much worse and very uncomfortable. I didn’t have enough strength or energy. ‘
On December 16, she finally went to one of the city’s largest hospitals, Wuhan Union Hospital, to have a proper checkup.
There, a doctor described her illness as “ruthless” and told her that several other people from Huanan already had 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 to be diagnosed with COVID-19, a disease caused by the coronavirus. According to a statement by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission on December 31.
Among them, 24 had direct links to Huanan.
The agency said at the time that no evidence had shown that the virus could be transmitted from person to person.
Of the first 27 coronavirus patients in Wuhan, 24 had direct links to the fish market. In the picture, employees are selling masks to a man in a Yifeng pharmacy in Wuhan on January 22
However, the identity of the first COVID-19 patient, also known as “Patient Zero”, remains a mystery in China.
Although Ms. Wei is the first to test positive on the market, it is reported that the first known coronavirus patient in the 1970s was a bedridden retiree.
The nameless man developed symptoms on December 1 and had not previously been to the fish market, a doctor told the BBC.
Classified government records, however, showed that the first case of a person suffering from COVID-19 could be traced back to November 17, the South China Morning Post reported.
The date is more than seven weeks before Chinese officials announced they had identified a new virus, and more than two months before various cities in the region were blocked to curb the spread of the bug.
Unpublished data showed that the Chinese authorities identified at least 266 people who were infected before December 31 – a time when the Wuhan authorities punished a group of doctors for alerting them to a “SARS-like” disease had triggered.
Chinese officials claim that the first coronavirus patient fell ill on December 7.
Paramedics take a patient to the Manhattan, New York City hospital on March 25
Beijing now rejects the widespread assessment that the city of Wuhan is the birthplace of the global outbreak after the number of daily infections there has dropped to zero, but has risen sharply in Europe.
Dr. Zhong Nanshan, head of a team of experts appointed by China to deal with the health crisis, denied last week that the mistake came from Wuhan and struck the allegation as “irresponsible”.
“The epidemic of novel coronavirus pneumonia occurred in China, in Wuhan … but that doesn’t mean the source is in Wuhan,” said Dr. Zhong at a press conference.
The pandemic has killed more than 22,000 people and infected over 486,000 worldwide.
China beats “sinister” US Secretary of State Pompeo after calling the bug “Wuhan virus”.
Pompeo’s request that the virus be identified as the “Wuhan virus” at a virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of the group of seven
China is pressing for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to insist that the deadly novel coronavirus is the “Wuhan virus” after the city in China where it was first discovered.
State Department spokesman Geng Shuang said Thursday that it was an attempt to “stigmatize China and discredit China’s efforts to distract attention and shift responsibility.”
“It has a very scary motive,” Geng told reporters at a daily meeting.
Geng also defended China’s efforts to fight the virus and denied responsibility for the outbreak elsewhere.
China has been accused of trying to suppress information about the early stages of the outbreak, and some of its diplomats have openly pointed out that the virus may have been brought to China from the United States.
Pompeo’s request to identify the virus as a “Wuhan virus” at a virtual meeting of foreign ministers from the group of seven leading industrialized countries led them to decide against publishing a group statement.
The World Health Organization and others have warned against giving the virus a geographic name because of its global nature.
President Donald Trump has turned away from these terms as critics said they promote discriminatory feelings and behaviors towards Asians and Asian Americans.