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'Unfortunate' that data on potential animal vector of COVID wasn’t revealed sooner: Bogoch


The suggestion that raccoon dogs may have played a role in the origin of COVID-19, based on the collection of genetic material from a wet market in China, doesn’t shed much light on the current pandemic situation, according to one Canadian expert.

Speaking on CTV’s Your Morning on Monday, Dr. Isaac Bogoch said that it was “pretty unfortunate” that we’re finding out about this new potential animal vector this late, considering that we know those samples were collected in early 2020.

“They’re only being made available now, and in fact they were uploaded to a global public repository for genetic material, and then subsequently removed, so there certainly is an issue with transparency,” he said.

The data hasn’t undergone peer review yet. Bogoch noted that the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called for more transparency from China.

“I think another key point here is that this is still a theory, we still don’t have an answer, this provides incremental data in terms of understanding what the origin of the virus was,” he said.

The animal vector theory has centred on bats since the beginning of the pandemic, meaning raccoon dogs could be a new intermediate animal vector between bats and humans. Still others contend the virus could have leaked from a lab.

The most important thing is preparation for the future, Bogoch said.

“It’s important to understand where this virus came from. But on the other hand too, regardless of where it came from … we need to be prepared,” he said.

“We need early detection systems globally so that we know that there’s an issue well before it becomes a much bigger issue, we need to have support for public health systems all over the planet, we need a response plane that’s not just Canada but a global response plan.”

Click the video above this article to watch the full interview with Dr. Isaac Bogoch Top Stories

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