Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the medical community has faced numerous difficulties in debunking myths and theories regarding the infection. False information regarding how the virus works, spread, or how it can be treated is common but the most harmful one is on its origin as some people believe it is a bioweapon.
Bioweapon or bioterrorism is a concept that is more commonly explored in movies, television shows, and books than in real life. Also known as biological warfare, bioweapons precisely refer to the use of pathogens or toxins to attack and control the world or a certain population and territory.
The use of these terms is common and portrayed in many popular films and shows. In real life, there have not been many recorded instances of the use of bioweapons. So far, the only use of biological weapons has been in the form of the infamous Bacillus anthracis bacteria or ‘Anthrax’ attacks.
According to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Anthrax attacks are among the deadliest bacterial infections and usually result in the death of the affected person in case no medical attention is sought on time.
Therefore, it is enlisted as a Category A agent by the health agency, which makes it one of the most possibly deadly pathogens which can be used in biological warfare. Other than the use of anthrax, Francisella tularensis and Variola major are said to be used in certain wars in the past.
Currently, there are no reported cases of using bacteria or other pathogens as well as biological toxins as a bioweapon. However, many people still assume that the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 is a weapon and was created by scientists in a lab.
In fact, a new ‘paper’, which has recently appeared on popular open-access repository for peer-reviews and research papers known as Zenodo.org, also gives a similar conclusion on the coronavirus infection.
The paper is published under the name “Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route” and bases its argument on some of the aspects of the virus which clearly show that it was manufacutured and does not exist naturally.
Even though it appears in a well-known online repository, the paper is far from scientifically accurate or accountable. According to the medical community, it only builds up on previous conspiracy theories regarding the coronavirus and does not use any actual research.
Keeping the current political scenario and the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic in mind, most researchers also argue that the so-called paper only echoes political agendas and does not add to the medical literature present on the infection.
Prior to this paper, scientists have already given evidence to prove that the coronavirus has not been manufacuted in a lab and is not a bioweapon.
It existed and evolved naturally just like all other types of coronaviruses which have caused infections and epidemics before, including SARS-CoV-1 and MERS.