Coronavirus appeared in Italy earlier than previously thought, according to a study – Coronavirus


The new coronavirus has been circulating in Italy since September 2019, according to a study by the Italian National Cancer Institute (INT), based in Milan, which reports that the disease caused by this pathogen may have spread outside China before Reuters reported Sunday and ANSA, according to Agerpres.

The World Health Organization said the novel coronavirus and Covid-19, the respiratory disease it causes, were not known before the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, central China, in December.

The first Covid-19 patient in Italy was found on February 21 in a small town near Milan in the northern region of Lombardy.

But the results of the Italian researchers, published by the scientific journal Tumori Journal of INT, show that 11.6% of the 959 healthy volunteers enrolled in a lung cancer screening study between September 2019 and March 2020, developed antibodies against the coronavirus much earlier since February.

Another specific test for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 was performed by the University of Siena (Tuscany Region) for the same research entitled “Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the pre-pandemic period in Italy”.

It showed that four cases from the first week of October were also positive for antibodies that neutralize the virus, meaning they were infected in September, Giovanni Apolone, co-author of the study, told Reuters.

This is the main finding: Asymptomatic people were not only positive after serological tests, but also had antibodies capable of killing the virus, Apolone said.

“It means that the new coronavirus can circulate among the population for a long time and with a low mortality rate, not because it disappears, but only to explode again,” he added.

Italian researchers told Reuters in March that they reported more cases than usual of severe pneumonia and flu in Lombardy in the last quarter of 2019, a sign that the new coronavirus may have circulated sooner than previously thought.


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