The genetic web of coronavirus origin in Yunnan (not Wuhan)

Yawn – we’ve all read too much about the coronavirus. But this new research from Cambridge University UK sheds light on the virus’ origin and how it spread. The team of scientists mapped the network of strains of the virus that differ by small mutations (the small notches in the lines). The length of the lines shows how many mutations happened from one form to the other. This powerful method lays bare the history of covid19.


– 3 big clusters are the main types: A is Yunnan in south China, B is Wuhan and C is Europe. Colour of each circle represents the region. Notice the bat – the black dot in the bottom right corner.

– The virus jumped from bat to human in Yunnan (not Wuhan) – cluster A – as early as September 2019. From there it went to Wuhan, but some spread to America and Europe occurred direct from Yunnan.

– B, Wuhan is the biggest cluster. All transmission of B type out of Asia was accompanied by mutation.

– C is the Europe mutated strain, absent from China.

Generally it’s clear that a lot of links keep forming, as people travel. But the genetic map shows the origin and how emergence of new types accompanied spread around the world.

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