Mòjiāng viral outbreak

A group of six miners working to clear guano from a copper mine in the Mòjiāng region of south west China contracted acute pneumonia of unknown origin. The disease symptoms resembled COVID-19. The disease was non responsive to antibiotics or antifungals. Also similar to COVID-19, the prognosis was poorer the older the patient. Two patient passed away. First admission was <2012-04-25 Wed> and last discharge was <2012-09-10 Mon>1.

The location of the mine is thought to be N 23°10’36’ E 101°21’28. Due to the similar nature of the disease to COVID-19, interest in the mine resurfaced after the pandemic. Attempts by journalists to reach the mine were thwarted in late 2020 and earlier 20211.

Most documentation about the event derives from a medical thesis by Li Xu in May 20131.

Beijing Institute of Pathogen Biology: Dr. Jin Qi -> New henipavirus-like paramyxovirus -> published in Science 2014

Dr. Shi Zhengli from WIV led expeditions into the mine -> August 2012 and July 2013 (4 expeditions into the mine), 3 more in the following 2 years -> SARS-Like coronavirus in 2013, a sequence of which was published in 2016 under the name BtCoV/4991


Ridley, M. & Chan, A. Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19. (Harper Perennial, 2022).