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Inside the compelling theory that coronavirus didn't start in a seafood market. It started in a lab.

As coronavirus continues to spread across China and the world, a definitive cause has been widely reported.

It all began in a seafood market in Wuhan.

Or did it?

The Washington Times have posed a new theory.

Also located in Wuhan, is China’s only declared site that’s capable of working with deadly viruses.

A laboratory linked to the country’s biological weapons program.

WUHAN LOCKDOWN
50 million people in Wuhan and surrounding cities are in lockdown because of coronavirus. Image: Getty/Twitter @richardker.

The publication spoke to former Israeli military intelligence officer Dany Shoham who studied Chinese biological warfare. He says the Wuhan Institute of Virology is linked to Beijing's covert bio-weapons program which is worked on as part of a dual civilian-military research operation.

The 2019 novel coronavirus is an animal-born virus with symptoms resembling a cold, and in the worse cases pneumonia.

At the time of reporting, 106 people are dead, thousands are infected and 50 million people are in lockdown in China.

Here's the NSW Health warning for Australians. Post continues after video.

Video by NSW Health

The Times reports Mr Shoham thinks the virus "may" have originated in the Wuhan lab which is the largest live virus collection centre in Asia carrying 1,400 types of virus and 60,000 strains.

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If this is the case, it wouldn't be the first time.

In March 2004, the deadly SARS virus escaped from the Beijing National Institute of Virology killing one and infecting nine.

Five people were punished after the outbreak, after an investigation found the outbreak was an accident caused by negligence.

Between November 2002 and July 2003, an outbreak of SARS in Southern China killed 774 people in 17 countries. It's a strain of coronavirus and is also thought to be animal-born.

Evidence becomes even more compelling when we consider data published in The Lancet medical journal, which states that 13 of the initial 41 initial cases of  Wuhan based novel coronavirus had no link to the seafood market purported to be the origin of the disease.

CNN spoke to infectious disease specialist Daniel Lucey from Georgetown University who said, "that's a big number, with no link."

Dr Malcolm Davis, an Australian defence analyst weighed in on the debate on Twitter. He doesn't think there's evidence to support the theory as of yet, but does find it interesting.

It may just be a coincidence, but it's a mighty significant one.

Especially given the Institute is a mere 30km from the "ground zero" seafood market.

As the virus continues to spread and infect, a Melbourne lab is the first to recreate a replica of the novel coronavirus - which could help scientists create a vaccine against it.

The team of scientists grew the virus from a patient who had been infected since Friday.

Feature image: Getty.

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