Newly released genetic data gathered from a live food market in Wuhan, China has linked Covid-19 with raccoon dogs, adding weight to the theory that infected animals sold at the site started the coronavirus pandemic.

Swabs collected from stalls at the Huanan seafood market in the two months after it was shut down on January 1, 2020 were previously found to contain both Covid and human DNA.

When the findings were published last year, Chinese researchers stated that the samples contained no animal DNA.

That conclusion has now been overturned by an international team of scientists.

The discovery does not prove that raccoon dogs or other animals infected with COVID triggered the pandemic, but scientists presenting the work to an expert group at the World Health Organization on Tuesday believe it makes that more likely.