“Consequently, the index case in Hubei likely contracted SARS-CoV-2 on or around 04 November 2019”.
Our results define the period between mid-October and mid-November 2019 as the plausible interval when the first case of SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Hubei province. By characterizing the likely dynamics of the virus before it was discovered, we show that over two-thirds of SARS-CoV-2-like zoonotic events would be self-limited, dying out without igniting a pandemic. Our findings highlight the shortcomings of zoonosis surveillance approaches for detecting highly contagious pathogens with moderate mortality rates.
Science Mag report “Timing the SARS-CoV-2 index case in Hubei province”