As the world tangles with the spread of the novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19, some are now trying to find the origins of the illness to combat it. Many have speculated that the virus made a jump to humans from bats inside Wuhan's Huanan market and the wild meat salespeople on the premises.
According to TooFab and The Wall Street Journal, the first person believed to have been infected by the disease has been identified. Wei Guixan, a 57-year-old seafood merchant at the market, claims she started feeling ill on Dec. 10 and initially thought it was a cold or flu.
"I felt a bit tired, but not as tired as previous years," she told Chinese publication The Paper according to TooFab. "Every winter, I always suffer from the flu. So I thought it was the flu."
Despite her poor health, Guixan visited a small clinic in the local area for an injection and "normal" treatment for the flu before heading back to work. TooFab notes this could potentially be the "first steps" of the global pandemic that has killed thousands since the start of 2020. Soon after she claims she went for a second opinion.
"The doctor at The Eleventh hospital could not figure out what was wrong with me and gave me pills," she noted, adding that she returned later for injections when the symptoms didn't subside. "By then I felt a lot worse and very uncomfortable. I did not have the strength or energy."
After these two attempts, Guixan went to Wuhan Union Hospital and made the startling discovery that she was not alone in fighting the illness.
Her condition worsened and she reportedly went in and out of consciousness while doctors tried to determine the source of the illness. They soon found that the illness had origins in the market and that the virus was something new. Guixan became one of the first to be diagnosed with COVID-19, with 27 in total all originating from the market.
According to the reported Patient Zero, she believes she contracted the infection from a toilet shared with wild meat sellers in the market. Those stationed on either side of her shrimp stall fell ill and members of her family also ended up catching the disease.0comments
Concrete evidence that Guixan is confirmed as patient zero isn't provided outside of the story but she did have plenty of criticism toward the Chinese government and their response. The delay in confirming the outbreak until January cost lives according to the woman.
The United States recently passed China's total cases after it stalled at around 81,000, with death tolls here catching up to the 3,292 in China. Many don't fully believe the official numbers from the Chinese government according to TooFab, including President Donald Trump.