Table of contents:
- What caused mine workers to die
- What was found in the mine
- What is known about the mine virus and how it relates to COVID-19
- What's with the mine now
American infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci urged the Chinese authorities to declassify information about six miners who contracted an unknown virus in Mojiang County in 2012. We will tell you in more detail whether this pneumonia is associated with COVID-19.
In 2012, six miners cleaned up an abandoned mine in Yunnan province to remove traces of bats. After some time, all the workers were hospitalized due to a strange illness.
Moreover, they had the same symptoms as with the COVID-19 disease: cough, chills, high fever, chest pain and shortness of breath. Three workers, despite the efforts of doctors, died from the consequences of pneumonia.
What caused mine workers to die
The miners had a dry cough, respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, increased blood clots - all these symptoms are observed in those infected with the coronavirus.
One of the patients underwent thymectomy (removal of the thymus gland), although there was no objective indication for this. As a rule, such an operation is performed for cancer, as well as for progressive myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness).
American scientists believe that the thymus was removed on purpose, as it could contain a large amount of the virus. Scientists might need it for detailed study.
Some experts also point out that if it was a fungal disease, then only antifungal drugs could stop the disease. In addition, the state of blood vessels, thromboembolism and a reduced number of lymphocytes still indicate viral pneumonia.
In any case, American scientists clarified what exactly the sick people were doing in that mine - they cleaned it of bat feces. Here is one more material on this matter: it says that the Mojiang mine was chosen by six species of bats. And including the famous red horseshoe bats Rhinolophus sinicus, which are considered the primary source of the current pandemic.
What was found in the mine
The mine itself, where the miners worked, is located in the Mojiang Hani Autonomous County in southwestern China. This is about 1,500 km from Wuhan, the place where COVID-19 was first discovered. In the same year, experts from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (UIV) went to the mine to determine the cause of the illness and death of the miners.
According to Reuters, from 2012 to 2015, TID researchers identified up to 293 coronaviruses in and around the mine. In November 2020, the institute disclosed the existence of eight other SARS-like coronavirus samples found in the same locations.
Six months after that incident, the cave was investigated and a new zoonotic pathogen was identified. It was called the Mojiang virus and was considered a relative of the Nipah virus and Hendra virus - they cause severe infections, including encephalitis. They are carried by the same bats.
What is known about the mine virus and how it relates to COVID-19
In 2013, Li Xu, a graduate student at the Kunming Medical University, who treated miners, published information about the miners who fell ill in 2012 in his dissertation. His work is still available in the Chinese online scientific article database.
In his study, he concludes that mountain women died from a coronavirus similar to the one that caused SARS. A prominent Chinese epidemiologist and pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan, who studied the medical history of the miners, agreed with his conclusions.
Also, Lee's work mentions the methods of treatment used by doctors at that time, in particular, the use of steroids, antibiotics, blood thinning, and connection to mechanical ventilation. Almost everything that is now treated with COVID-19 patients around the world.
From a mine in Mojiang County in 2012-2013, fragments of an unexplored virus, designated BtCoV / 4991, were recovered, and this was done by employees of the laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is headed by Shi Zhengli.
Interestingly, the article by Wuhan virologists in Nature published after the start of the pandemic does not mention BtCoV / 4991 at all - instead, the viral genome RaTG13 appears there. The American ones, however, stated that BtCoV / 4991 and RaTG13 are links of the same chain, or rather, BtCoV / 4991 is part of RaTG13.
The analysis showed that 2019-nCoV (formerly called SARS-Cov-2) is very similar to RaTG13 throughout the genome with an overall genome sequence identity of 96.2%.
We assume that in the miners' bodies, RaTG13 (the most genetically similar sample to the new coronavirus) or a very similar virus turned into SARS-CoV-2, an unusually pathogenic coronavirus highly adapted for humans. Shi's lab used medical samples taken from miners. It was this human-adapted virus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, that escaped the Wuhan laboratory in 2019.
text of a study by American scientists Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson
What's with the mine now
The Chinese authorities do not allow any independent research into the mine. According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a video surveillance camera and a checkpoint were installed near this facility.
Other journalists were not allowed to the mine, arguing that the region is unsafe due to wild elephants.
We are not claiming that the SARS-Cov-2 virus was specially engineered or as a biological weapon, but our theory suggests that scientific research conducted by Shi Zhengli's laboratory at WIV at the Wuhan Institute of Virology played an important causal role in the pandemic., according to an article by scientists from the Bioscience Resource Project, published in the Independent Science News