In a concerning revelation, the Daily Mail has reported that Chinese scientists have unearthed eight previously unknown viruses on the tropical island of Hainan, funded by the Chinese government.
Hainan, situated just off China’s southern coast, is home to a population of approximately nine million people.
The research involved the collection of nearly 700 samples from rodents on the island, leading to the identification of a range of new viruses, notably the CoV-HMU-1, a novel betacoronavirus akin to the strain responsible for COVID-19.
Additionally, two new pestiviruses, linked to diseases like yellow fever and dengue, were discovered. Among the findings was a new astrovirus, part of a family known to cause stomach-related infections. The research also brought to light two previously unidentified parvoviruses, which can induce symptoms resembling the flu, as well as two papillomaviruses, known culprits behind genital warts and certain types of cancer.
Scientists caution that these newfound viruses carry a significant risk of crossing over to humans, emphasizing the urgency to understand their potential impact. Plans are underway to conduct experiments to ascertain their effects on human subjects.
The disclosure of these findings took place in the journal Virologica Sinica, associated with the Chinese Society for Microbiology (CSM). Notably, Dr. Shi Zhengli, often referred to as China’s ‘bat woman,’ and a prominent figure in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is the editor of Virologica Sinica. This facility has been at the center of speculations regarding its involvement in the origins of the Covid pandemic.
These revelations inevitably lead one to question the motives behind collecting such viruses. It prompts the inquiry of whether we should not simply leave nature undisturbed, particularly given the well-documented lapses in security measures within China’s scientific community.
The potential consequences of a lapse in containment are too grave to ignore, as it could pave the way for the next global pandemic, potentially engineered within the confines of a lab.