Intended for healthcare professionals


Lab leaks? . . . and other stories

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 01 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n811

The origin of the pandemic

At a recent press briefing, the World Health Organization team investigating the origin of the covid-19 pandemic dismissed the possibility that the virus had accidentally leaked from a laboratory (Nature doi:10.1038/d41586-021-00375-7). But some commentators find the circumstantial evidence hard to ignore. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is only 10 miles from the site of the initial outbreak and is known to research wild coronaviruses. In contrast, the natural coronavirus variants that most closely resemble SARS-CoV-2 come from a region in south west China more than 900 miles away (

Screening for atrial fibrillation

More than 800 people with hypertension all aged at least 75 were randomised either …

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