Coronavirus might have originated from China but it is no longer limited to its international border. Confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the mysterious new strain of coronavirus are now prevalent in 104 countries. Apart from China -- South Korea, Iran, Italy are amongst the countries worst affected by the virus.
A lot of people wonder where the virus originated. In that regard, the coronavirus has something in common with another Chinese epidemic that killed over 700 people in 2003 -- SARS. Both the virus' started in the Huanan wet market of China.
What is a wet market?
In China, wet markets are quite popular. These are places with outdoor stalls where you get a variety of wild animals. From Bats to Snakes, wet markets provide customers with fresh 'exotic' meat. They have narrow lanes and extremely low quality of hygiene.
The market forms a perfect stage to give breathing space to such viruses'.
After it was confirmed that the virus originated from the wet markets, the Chinese authorities quarantined the market place and banned the sale of all livestock.
Huanan seafood market was shut down on January 1.
"When you bring animals together in these unnatural situations, you have the risk of human diseases emerging," Kevin Olival, a disease ecologist and conservationist at the EcoHealth Alliance, told National Geographic. "If the animals are caged in bad conditions, it becomes a starting point for them to shed their virus and to be sick," he added.
Here are some images of how Huanan wet market looks like
*Images could be distressing to some readers