'Wet markets' likely launched the coronavirus. Here's what you need to know.
Most of the earliest COVID-19 cases trace back to one of these sites, but what are they and what do they sell?
Until earlier this year, most people had never heard of the term “wet market,” but the coronavirus pandemic has thrust it into the limelight. A wet market in Wuhan, China, called the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, is believed to be the source of COVID-19.
Somewhat akin to farmer’s markets and found around the world, wet markets are typically large collections of open-air stalls selling fresh seafood, meat, fruits, and vegetables. Some wet markets sell and slaughter live animals on site, including chickens, fish, and shellfish. In China, they’re a staple of daily life for many.
More rarely, wet markets also sell wild animals and their meat. The Huanan market, for example, had a wild animal section where live and slaughtered species were