Wuhan market merchant could help officials find COVID-19 'patient zero'

A Wuhan seafood merchant might hold the key to the origin of the COVID-19 virus, which has infected more than 530,000 people worldwide.

The woman, named as Wei Guixian, 57, by The Wall Street Journal, worked at Wuhan’s Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market and fell ill on December 10.

She’s one of the first people to contract coronavirus and her case is being studied alongside others in the quest to find the virus’ ‘patient zero’.

Wuhan is believed to be the epicentre of the deadly virus.

The Huanan market was a “wet market” which reportedly sold bats, rats, ostrich, otters, dogs and badgers. 

The South China Morning Post reported it sold "120 wildlife animals across 75 species”.

A Wuhan seafood merchant (not pictured) might hold the key to the origin of the COVID-19 virus. Source: Getty

Ms Wei thought she had a cold, went to a doctor and then returned to work.

But her condition didn’t improve so she went to Wuhan's The Eleventh Hospital for a second opinion.

"The doctor at The Eleventh hospital could not figure out what was wrong with me and gave me pills," she told Chinese news outlet The Paper.

Ms Wei said she then believed she was suffering from the flu, which she gets every winter.

She began to feel worse and on December 16 and checked herself into hospital.

A doctor told her others had experienced similar symptoms and described the virus she was suffering from as “ruthless”.

She was quarantined and according to a statement from The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission on December 31, she was one of the first of 27 patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

A Wuhan seafood merchant might hold the key to the origin of the COVID-19 virus. Source: Getty Images

Ms Wei was also one of 24 connected to the market too. She’s since recovered and left hospital in early January.

The virus went on to infect more than 3000 Australians as of Friday and kill 13.

Worldwide it’s infected more than 530,000 people and killed more than 24,000.

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