At the moment, there is still a lot of debate on where the COVID-19 virus might have originated from. At the start of the pandemic, it was widely-believed that it might have come from a market in Wuhan, China, but later several different theories were floated suggesting that it might have been around much earlier than that, and it might have come from outside of China.
However, it seems that some scientists believe that they might be able to figure it out by using social media platform Twitter. In a study published in Nature, researchers at the IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca are suggesting that maybe by combing through posts on Twitter, they might actually be able to discover the origins of the coronavirus.
The researchers basically looked for keywords based on symptoms that patients experience when they contract the virus. The idea is that by identifying spikes in reports of these symptoms, it could potentially be used as an indicator of when the virus might have arrived, and how long ago it arrived before it was officially diagnosed.
While we wouldn’t say that this evidence is conclusive, especially since tweets are largely anecdotal, it could help researchers determine when exactly the virus first showed up in various locations. Also, note that the research was conducted for Europe and that a similar study for the US and other countries could reveal different timelines, so we wouldn’t suggest that you draw any conclusions just yet, other than the fact that it makes for an interesting study on Twitter.