OIE: Animal and environmental investigations to identify the zoonotic source of the COVID-19 Virus

OIE publicly available information addressing:
  1. What is known about the role of animals in the emergence of Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19 (caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (otherwise known as the COVID virus)) and to make
  2. Preliminary recommendations relating to investigations at the human-animal ecosystems interface.
 
Current knowledge (31 January 2020):
  • Many important questions remain unanswered about the animal origin of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Although an animal source is probable, the scarcity of information leaves significant knowledge gaps, which leaves the door open for speculation and rumours.
  • The lack of evidence also leads to, and in some ways necessitates, several assumptions being made.
 
There is evidence that the transmission of SARS-CoV from an animal reservoir to humans involved an intermediate host.
  • The epidemiology of MERS shows how the role of an intermediate host can be more significant at the human animal interface than the
  • original animal source of the virus. 
  • There is only preliminary and incomplete information from investigations into the animal source at the market. This is understandable considering the importance and urgency of focusing on the public health response to contain the disease. However, information from these investigations is critical because it may hold the key to preventing further introductions of the virus into the human population, and it may also provide useful insights to reduce the risk of future spill over events from animals to humans.
 
The source document addresses further issues including, for example, research priorities, surveillance and risk assessment,transmission pathways,possible role of livestock, possible role of companion animals in epidemiology of human disease, diagnostics, and prevention and control interventions. 
 
The socio-economics and policy assessment identifies the strategic objective as "To improve the effectiveness of detection, prevention and control measures through the integration of social, economic and institutional analyses of the environment affected".
 
 
You can the source document at the link provided below.