US lawmakers urge China to close 'wet markets' amid coronavirus crisis

WASHINGTON: Amid the pandemic, a bipartisan group of top US lawmakers has urged China to urgently close all of its wet operating markets, as they have the potential to expose humans to health risks by introducing the disease. zoonotic.

A wet market sells fresh meat, fish, produce, and other perishables, unlike dry markets. It gets its name from floors that are constantly wet from spraying fresh produce and cleaning meat and seafood stalls.

We are writing to urgently request that China immediately close all operating wet markets that have the potential to expose humans to health risks through the introduction of zoonotic diseases into the human population, the senators wrote, in a letter to the ambassador. Chinese in the United States. Cui Tiankai.

A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human.

Gao Fu, director of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has acknowledged that the origin of the new coronavirus is wildlife that is illegally sold in a seafood market (China), they said.

A wet market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan is believed to be the source of the coronavirus pandemic that started in December last year, crossing from animals to humans.

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It is well documented that wet markets in China have been the source of a number of health problems worldwide, and their operation should immediately cease to protect the Chinese people and the international community from additional health risks, wrote the senators.

Therefore, we urge China to close all wet markets that allow human-wildlife interactions that pose public health risks, the lawmakers concluded.

The Republican Mitt Romney and the Democrat stood out among the group of 11 senators Chris Coons .

We understand and respect that wet markets are an important component to Chinese society and way of life, but we believe that the current moment, which has disrupted daily life around the world, requires extreme precautions.

Last week, China released an official timeline that said the new coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan in late December, where it was listed as pneumonia of unknown cause.

The senators' letter comes after Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health, called for the closure of these markets.

They should close (the wet markets) immediately. I mean, my mind is dizzy when we have so many diseases emanating from that unusual interface of human animals that we don't just shut it down. I don't know what else has to happen for us to appreciate that, he said.

And I think there are certain countries where this is a very common place. I would like to see the rest of the world really lean on with a lot of pressure on those countries that have that because what we are going through now is a direct result of that, Fauci said.

In the October 2006 issue of Current Opinions in Infectious Diseases, it was found that “in Chinese wet markets, unique epicenters for the transmission of potential viral pathogens, new genes can be acquired or existing genes can be modified through various mechanisms such as genetic rearrangement, recombination, and mutation

Wet markets, closer to humans, with high viral loads or strains with higher transmission efficiency, facilitate the transmission of viruses to humans.