“… Covid-19 may not have originated in China, Oxford University expert believes.”


"Dr Jefferson believes many viruses lie dormant throughout the globe and emerge when conditions are favourable, which also means they can vanish as quickly as they arrive.

"Where did Sars 1 go? It's just disappeared," he said. "So we have to think about these things. We need to start researching the ecology of the virus, understanding how it originates and mutates.

"I think the virus was already here – here meaning everywhere. We may be seeing a dormant virus that has been activated by environmental conditions. 

"There was a case in the Falkland Islands in early February. Now where did that come from? There was a cruise ship that went from South Georgia to Buenos Aires, and the passengers were screened and then on day eight, when they started sailing towards the Weddell Sea, they got the first case. Was it in prepared food that was defrosted and activated? 

"Strange things like this happened with Spanish Flu. In 1918, around 30 per cent of the population of Western Samoa died of Spanish Flu, and they hadn't had any communication with the outside world.

"The explanation for this could only be that these agents don't come or go anywhere. They are always here and something ignites them, maybe human density or environmental conditions, and this is what we should be looking for.""  The Telegraph.


This article is behind a paywall but may have been re-published elsewhere.

I find this to be an appealing theory.  It supports my suspicion that, as Trump says, the more you test the more of this virus you will find.   Why?  Perhaps that is true because the virus has been widely present in populations and dormant for a long time only to be activated by some environmental change in the recent past.  

Dr. Jefferson asks rhetorically where the Spanish flu disappeared to.  No cure or vaccine was ever found.  He asks the same question about SARS.  Where did it go?

If the Jeffersonian theory is correct, the implications are enormous.  pl


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23 Responses to “… Covid-19 may not have originated in China, Oxford University expert believes.”

  1. Deap says:

    Personal anecdote: Having been on a cruise ship visiting the Falklands in early Feb, I have followed this closely. Earlier speculation was the introduction of covid to these islands came from a member the UK military posted there and not from a cruise ship.
    I also took an anti-body test later after the cruise industry meltdown in March – came back negative. It was the Quest blood draw anti-body test with 99% accuracy ratings. So covid was not running rampant on my particular cruise ship in Jan/Feb in this area, and I had not returned an unwitting secret spreader.

  2. Terence Gore says:

    Interview on French TV with Luc Montaigner at 35 seconds in says the corona virus has been manipulated to contain part of the HIV virus
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki /Luc_Montagnier
    If it is false planted information who is planting this rabbit hole and why?
    If he is just wrong how come the story hasn’t been mainstreamed?

  3. Eric Newhill says:

    My own SWAG is that Dr. Jefferson is correct and, furthermore, that viruses can travel in air currents and land all over the world. I’m far from an expert on this topic. Just using common sense. I read a study some time ago wherein samples of “air” were taken from different altitudes all the way up to the stratosphere. The samples were studied and found to contain all kinds of particulates, pollen, mold/fungus spores and other stuff. Would the sunlight necessarily kill the viruses in the air? Viruses are very small (I think we forget that sometimes). Maybe they can attach to the much larger spores and pollen or pollution particles and gain some protection that way?
    From the beginning I was thinking about the potential of a food vector as well as all of the products and mail sent around the world.
    As I’ve said in comments here since the beginning of the outbreak, I’m convinced that a large number of us have been exposed and, as I predicted, increasing testing is confirming that idea.
    IMO, the idea that “men and women of science” can protect us from these outbreaks – indeed from mortality itself – is a desperate delusion suffered by those who cannot come to grips with their own mortality. There is much that is out of the control of science as we currently understand it to be. We should continue to use the method to learn more about this subject and many others, but, at the same time, be humbled by the truth that the universe is a far more complicated and mysterious thing than our biggest thought could ever grasp. What we cannot do when seeking answers is remain limited by the notion that we have achieved a great level of understanding at this point in history. We have not. We are merely seduced and blinded by the accelerated knowledge gain of the last 100 years or so. We have much farther to go on an endless journey.

  4. Deap says:

    Developing a vaccine requires volunteers for testing that vaccine. At this point of media hysteria, who would be willing to volunteer? Used to test drugs on basically unwitting third world “volunteers” for cash, but I assume there are few willing volunteers anywhere today within our global communication network. Ergo: no testing means no vaccine – then what?
    Latent viruses, that we already carry, is not unknown speculation. What is the common denominator, yet uncovered, that makes this particular viral exposure so quickly deadly in some; and benign in others.
    What role did a prior smoking history play in the “elderly” who have been the hardest hit. Prior to 1965 Surgeons General report on smoking, the habit was rampant and many who are now “elderly” engaged in this ubiquitous habit.
    Interesting to watch old movies from pre-1965 and virtually everyone has a cigarette in mouth or hand. Just re-watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s – non-stop smoke screen – all characters. To the point of Audrey Hepburn’s signature long cigarette holder inadvertently set a party goer’s frilly chapeau on fire.
    Did those earlier smoking habits years prior make an aging population group’s lungs less resilient to this current covid onslaught, precipitating these cytokine storms when the immune system finally kicked in? Total speculation here, but shouldn’t we be looking at this.
    This disease is too selective in its impacts to not warrant a lot more digging into more than just its origins or incidence spread, but why its disparate impact? Emphasis on sheer numbers of incidents masks the need to explore the common denominators when for some reasons yet unknown, it turns deadly. What else is going on, particularly if this is in fact a long standing latent virus.
    Why has the epidemiology been so badly corrupted from the very start of this covid incidence? In this, our Information Age of all times, Any data now is so tainted to be virtually unusable. Why did our “experts” do this to us.

  5. EEngineer says:

    New variants are constantly evolving randomly. When one comes along that a large number of the population’s immune system can’t recognize, it spreads like wildfire until everyone has been exposed. Most never even get sick, because their systems does recognize it and brush it off. There’s non-linear chain reaction, much like nuclear fission where a non-critical chain extinguishes and super critical ones that go bang, that only seems to get crossed every few decades or so. SE Asia has a high population AND density so it’s the natural that it happens there more often than elsewhere. Good hygiene can raise the threshold but once you cross the line, it’s over.

  6. JJackson says:

    Not very likely. SARS-1 did not go anywhere it was wiped out by human intervention. It was relatively simple to get rid of as it was not infectious until the patient was very symptomatic so easy to isolate before it could spread further. H1N1(1918) did not disappear it replaced the existing seasonal flu and circulated until it was in turn displaced be H2N2 in 1957. It then reappeared in 1977, due to a lab escape, and the circulated until it was again displaced by H1N1(2009). The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a different problem as it has a pre-symptomatic infectious phase and will probably be another endemic human disease once a reasonable level of herd immunity is achieved.

  7. Mark K Logan says:

    His claim that Samoa didn’t have contact with the outside world is rather odd. A ship from NZ went there with sick people aboard.

  8. Eric Newhill says:

    What do you mean when you say, “H1N1(1918) did not disappear it replaced the existing seasonal flu and circulated until it was in turn displaced be H2N2 in 1957”?
    What is “displaced”? How does it happen?
    Something that makes no sense to me is the idea that a virus mutates to become more or less deadly. One hears such talk often. How do strands of DNA all over the world suddenly mutate in concert and in the same direction?
    Why have other viruses not mutated in concert to become more or less deadly, with the mutation displacing the originally recognized form? For just one example, Ebola. There are different strains and some are more deadly, but the more deadly strains have not been displaced. Outbreaks occur, then burn out and then mysteriously re-occur some time later. Influenza A and B have been around for a long time – and that despite vaccines. No displacement.

  9. jerseycityjoan says:

    I saw this article yesterday over at Yahoo News. You can read the whole thing there:
    I thought it was very interesting but I have no idea how true it might be. I’m eager to know what people think about this theory who know the field.

  10. JJackson says:

    Influenza is a bit of an odd ball in the virus world as it is continuously changing its RNA by single point mutations, most of which don’t do anything very dramatic but some do. The new pandemic strains generally occur by a process called reassortment. Type A influenza has 8 single RNA strands which code for its proteins and when two different strains infect the same host simultaneously the poor quality control in packaging of new virions can mix strands from the two producing a new virus. If this virus can reproduce efficiently in the host species then it may go on to produce a pandemic. This is what happened in 1918, 1957, 1968 and 2009. In each case the new strain displaced the existing strain by out performing it. The H1N1, that was one of the circulating human flus in 2008, is no-longer found in human flu samples as the new strain that emerged in 2009 outperformed it and the old one vanished (like the Neanderthals being unable to compete with Homo Sapiens – we have some of there DNA but they have gone as a species) . When a fitter strain (one that spreads more efficiently) appears it will gradually replace the less fit strain until something even fitter displaces it.
    Most viruses do not seem to bother to change for instance Smallpox could be eradicated because it did not come in multiple strains and did not change to evade the vaccine. Ebola is technically not a species but a genus including several species Reston Ebola does not infect human but pigs. Zaire Ebola (ZEBOV) is not a disease of humans, but can cause disease in humans, and all the outbreaks have been brought under control (except one in DRC which is still ongoing) so it has not adapted to a human form, we are collateral damage. ZEBOV caused the big W. African outbreak and the biggest DRC outbreak, which has just ended, and is causing the current DRC outbreak which is a new introduction from wildlife. Sudan Ebola (SEBOV) also causes severe disease in humans. Neither Corona viruses or Ebola can reassort as they are both single stranded RNA viruses nor do either of them tend to mutate to evade selection pressures like flu. There are claims in the press that a change in the Spike protein (S D614G) has changed SARS-2 into a more virulent and transmissible form but there is no good evidence to support this.

  11. mcohen says:

    Lol=League of liars

  12. Yeah, Right says:

    If this theory is correct (I’m dubious) then what does that do to the China Is To Blame!!!! accusation?
    Because if I read it correctly then this virus was everywhere, and Wuhan was simply unlucky in being the first place where this inevitable pandemic erupted.
    And no matter what anyone did it was never going to be the last because, simply put, this virus’ time had arrived.

  13. Ulenspiegel says:

    “Dr Jefferson believes many viruses lie dormant throughout the globe and emerge when conditions are favourable, which also means they can vanish as quickly as they arrive.”
    Here other corona virus experts disagree. As a result of the pandemic the corona virus will be globally distributed and will find new non-human hosts. We will see therefore new outbreaks in the next years.
    The origin may actually be China, where a huge fur industry allows the transmission from the original (still unknown) host via raccoon dogs or other animals to humans. The transmission from mink to human was observed in the Netherland in two cases. Therefoere, experts like Drosten were most likely correct with their opinion.

  14. SoMuchToLearn says:

    The relevance to the article will be clearer so please excuse the necessary preamble which follows… Rupert Sheldrake is considered by some to be a scientific heretic. His theory of morphic resonance is directly related to Plato’s theory of forms which holds that a kind of template exists for all life forms. I’ll mention two examples he describes to give you an idea. First, when a human egg is fertilised we’re all aware that the fundamental process of cell division occurs. That is, the first cell divides to create a COPY of itself and so on until a ‘clump’ of cells is created, all being copies of the first cell. Now, at some stage in the development of the embryo, some of the cells begin to differentiate to eventually become, for example, eyes or kidneys or bones etc. The question he asks is: where does the information come from so that these cells develop as they do? It surely can’t be from within the cell itself since, in the early stages, they are identical. He proposes that there is a human template which exists independently of individuals and that the form must exist if instances are to be created. Second, in the early 19th century glycerin was not known to exist in a crystalline form. Then, seemingly from nowhere, a batch of laboratory glycerin crystallised. Samples of this ‘mother’ batch were sent to labs in other countries to ‘seed’ liquid glycerin and sure enough the liquid crytallised. The strange thing, however, is that, around this time, liquid glycerin started to crystallise all around the world without any seeding taking place. Using this glycerin example and others mentioned in his book, Sheldrake argues that new forms (hence morphic) can be created once a certain threshold of instances has been passed. So, if the Covid19 virus occurred naturally in one part of the world and started to multiply, could not this explain why it suddenly starts appearing world-wide?

  15. A.I.S. says:

    My 2 cents:
    1: I am in favor of patient zero not neccessarily being in China (as far as I am concerned, odds for that are roughly 1/6). China was certainly the place of the first massive Government response to it, partly because I think the Chinese deemed it a Bioweapon and reacted massively due to this, the wastewater evidence pointing towards Covids november presence in f.e. the EU is something I consider fairly persusive.
    2: I am sceptical towards lab engineered claims, because nature is a bitch.
    3: A Virus replicates by getting into a cell, inserting its own genome into the cells genome and then trying to activate the cells replication (or some other system) system in order to make the cell produce viruses. Frequently, this fails after step one (meaning that the virus inserts its genome, but it doesnt get activated and lies dormant. Despite dormant, it would be reproduced when the cell reproduces, resulting in 2 cells which both have dormant viruses in them), resulting in latent viruses.
    4: Something that is poorly undersood is if, and under which conditions, latent viral DNA/RNA can change. For example if another virus tried to overwrite the first virus, but does so partially, potentially resulting in a latent combination of Viruses.
    5: Enviromental factors, especially radiation (not neccessary radioactive radiation, sunlight, probably also Radio etc.) can cause change in what part of their genomes cells are expressing.

  16. Terence Gore says:

    “Sørensen is therefore quite confident that the virus has originated in a laboratory.
    “I think it’s more than 90 percent certain. It’s at least a far more probable explanation than it having developed this way in nature”, Sørensen responds.
    Sørensen also highlights other data than those related to the virus’ properties:
    “The properties that we now see in the virus, we have yet to discover anywhere in nature. We know that these properties make the virus very infectious, so if it came from nature, there should also be many animals infected with this, but we have still not been able to trace the virus in nature.
    “The only place we are aware of where an equivalent virus to that which causes Covid-19 exists, is in a laboratory. So the simplest and most logical explanation is that it comes from a laboratory. Those who claim otherwise, have the burden of proof,””

  17. John Credulous says:

    The “unknown unknown” or the consequences of arrogant juvenile fame seeking “scientists”
    From 1955 through early 1963, millions of people were inadvertently exposed to simian virus 40 (SV40) as a contaminant of poliovirus vaccines; the virus had been present in the monkey kidney cultures used to prepare the vaccines and had escaped detection. SV40 was discovered in 1960 and subsequently eliminated from poliovirus vaccines. This article reviews current knowledge about SV40 and considers public responses to reports in the media. SV40 is a potent tumour virus with broad tissue tropism that induces tumours in rodents and transforms cultured cells from many species. It is also an important laboratory model for basic studies of molecular processes in eukaryotic cells and mechanisms of neoplastic transformation. SV40 neutralizing antibodies have been detected in individuals not exposed to contaminated poliovirus vaccines. There have been many reports of detection of SV40 DNA in human tumours, especially mesotheliomas, brain tumours and osteosarcomas; and DNA sequence analyses have ruled out the possibility that the viral DNA in tumours was due to laboratory contamination or that the virus had been misidentified. However, additional studies are necessary to prove that SV40 is the cause of certain human cancers. A recently published review article evaluated the status of the field and received much media attention. The public response emphasized that there is great interest in the possibility of health risks today from vaccinations received in the past.

  18. will.2718 says:

    “Something that makes no sense to me is the idea that a virus mutates to become more or less deadly.”
    the ones that don’t kill their hosts have more descendants and displace the killers?
    articles not behind a paywall

  19. Eric Newhill says:

    ” In each case the new strain displaced the existing strain by out performing it. The H1N1, that was one of the circulating human flus in 2008, is no-longer found in human flu samples as the new strain that emerged in 2009 outperformed it and the old one vanished (like the Neanderthals being unable to compete with Homo Sapiens – we have some of there DNA but they have gone as a species)”
    I understand that you are attempting to answer my question along the lines of Darwinian survival of the fittest theory. That is not making sense to me. Humans could be infected by more than one virus or strain of virus. That would be a single human that could be infected by more than one and/or different groups of humans being infected by different viruses or strains of a virus.
    A virus is not like Neanderthals versus Homo Sapiens. They are not mutually exclusive in their host environments, they do not physically attack and kill each other. Also Viruses do not interbreed and become mutts. They are merely strands of DNA + a few other minor components that replicate themselves in their host.
    Yes, a virus in a single host could mutate during the process of replication in that single host. And yes that mutated strain could then be contracted by other hosts and the mutant strain would thus propagate. However, I must again ask why the massively larger universe of non-mutated viruses would disappear – again, they self-replicate, not breed, they don’t fight and kill each other and if the host lives long enough they can pass themselves along? Also, why would there not be many mutated strains loose in the world? How would all of the viruses (= individual strands of DNA) mutate the same way at approximately the same time? I think if you are correct then there should be several years – probably decades – in which we see people infected by the original virus AND the mutated strain, but we don’t. I think that is one of Dr. Jefferson’s points. The original strain of these deadly viruses just vanishes overnight. If it isn’t what he’s really saying, he ought to be, IMHO.
    This theory of yours reminds me of The Big Bang Theory. “In the beginning there was an explosion of energy that became matter….. We can even tell you when it happened right down to the day and hour!” – “Ok. Where did the energy come from? What forces caused it to explode? Obviously there was something before the Big Bang.” – “Shut up! Scientists smarter than you say so…so it’s true!”

  20. JJackson says:

    I think I see where you are having a problem. All the H1N1(2008) circulating in humans before the last pandemic were not identical but were similar in their genetic code which happens to be in the form of 8 single strands of negative sense RNA (it is not a DNA virus). When the host is infected it makes new virus particles which infect more cells. Flu can produce as many new viruses in one person as there are people on the planet and they are not identical to the RNA that originally infected the host and, over the course of one infection, all 1500 nucleotides in the genome are likely to have mutated. With such a high mutation rate most of the new virions are duds. Of the survivors a few make it into a droplet and leave the host to start the next infection. They are likely to be a representative subset of the most successful strains in the late stage infection of the old host. If any one of them is better adapted then it will dominate in the new host until one of its progeny becomes even better adapted than it and replaces it. As flu has been circulating for a while a portion of the population has some level of immunity and when it tries to infect one then it fails. If a new virus emerges, which is so different that no one has any immunity, then it can spread very rapidly. As the H1N1(2009) virus entered the human population for the first time from pigs it found no immunity and spread rapidly. Sequences collected from patients while the pandemic was on going saw H1N1(2009) spreading even in the summer (the lack of immunity in humans was enough to compensate for the dampening effect of normal flu seasonality in temperate climates). When flu season came the new strain was already up and running and while the low level of the old was around there became fewer and fewer of them as the season went on. By the end of the winter the old H1N1 was at a few % and in subsequent years disappeared altogether.
    N.B. Although H1N1(2008) and H1N1(2009) are the same serotype they are distinct enough for the immune system to see them as different viruses and provide negligible cross reactivity. Flu comes in 4 Types A,B,C,D and I have been discussing type A viruses which are serotyped by two of their surface proteins (H & N) which are ‘seen’ by the immune system and contain its primary antigenic sites. The numbers after the H and N (H7N9) were added as new serologically distinct forms were found. Each serotype is further subdivided into clades (the predominant H3N2 clade in the US in 2019 was A1b. Finally they get divided into strains. The H3N2 sequences found in 1968 have very slowly morphed over the intervening years so that about every 3 years we need to change the vaccine strain as it becomes progressively less effective. You mentioned the seasonal flu vaccine it is actually a cocktail of the most commonly circulating strains one each from AH1N1, AH3N2, B Victoria and B Yamagata in the quadrivalent vaccine. It does not provide complete protection, 60% is typical in most years, and is far less effective in the over 65s which is where 95% of deaths occur.
    You refer to viruses magically reappearing from time to time. All these viruses have a reservoir in some other animal species which occasionally vary to a point where they can also cause an infection in humans. Serological testing of poultry workers finds chickens strains, pig farmers catch pig strains and pigs catch human strains from them. The natural reservoir for flu and Alfa CoVs viruses are birds, bats carry Marburg, Nipah, Hendra, Beta CoVs and probably Ebola. A serological study of villagers in S. China found 3% had bat Beta CoVs which works out to over a million infections per year, some will cause disease, and probably some deaths, but they have not been efficient enough in humans to sustain spread or cause a noticeable outbreak – except SARS-1 and SARS-2. The only mystery is why so few actually go on to create an epidemic.

  21. JJackson says:

    The mink farm infections are very worrying as if it does get established in a new animal host it will develop host adaptions, over time, until it is sufficiently different to the human host adapted form to cause a new epidemic, the virulence of which is unpredictable. Ferrets are the preferred lab animal for influenza research because they display similar respiratory symptoms to humans. Related mink obviously have a compatible fusion receptor so are probably an ideal host to hatch a well human optimised CoV. If they do not close all the mink farms then the workers are going to be regularly exposed to what ever the mink are carrying, and to a far greater extent than the human bat interactions which are the likely cause of SARS 1 & 2. There is no evidence of, or need for, an intermediate host for either SARS. Bats do a good job of directly infecting humans with SARS like viruses. The Pangolins are likely to have caught it from bats as are the humans. Raccoon Dogs and Civets were found with SARS-1 at the market near the outbreak origin but they are so close to the human strain they could as easily have caught it from us as us from them. When the supply chain for these animals was followed back to the farm there were no infections and it has never been found again in the wild, in any animal reservoir, apart from bats.

  22. TimG says:

    Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe proposed that viruses may have extraterrestial origin. They argued that the pandemic spread pattern to remote ships and islands was an indicator of same.
    This “Diseases From Space” theory was expounded in their joint 1979 book of the same name.
    This is, of course, not a ‘mainstream’ idea!
    There are other alternative explanations for the wide distribution of viruses that do not depend on human to human transmission, or extra-terrestial intrusion. For example, high altitude distribution.

  23. Harry says:

    I think there is a natural periodicity to virus emergence in human (or animal) populations. I think that periodicity is related the the rate of mutation and evolution of virus species, and the interaction with animal species immune system. We and other animals develop almost absolute herd immunity to a virus. That periodicity seems to be roughly 50-70 years.
    I cant rule out that environmental change is accelerating the process, but we will get a good idea if we get another similar global pandemic in the next few years.

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