Italian scientist finds new clues to early circulation of COVID-19-Xinhua

Italian scientist finds new clues to early circulation of COVID-19


Editor: huaxia

2020-12-19 19:13:11

A new research is adding weight to the possibility that the coronavirus has already started circulating in Italy before its first officially-recorded infection. In the latest findings, a team of researchers at the University of Milan found evidence of coronavirus antibodies from a four-year-old Italian boy who was ill in late November 2019. A recent examination of the swab showed the boy was infected with the coronavirus -- the same strain that was officially recorded in Wuhan, China for the first time in December 2019. Elisabetta Tanzi, a professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health in the University of Milan, is one of the researchers who participated in the study. In an interview with Xinhua on Friday, Tanzi said, the epidemiological investigation showed that the child had begun to have respiratory symptoms such as a cough and cold on Nov. 21, 2019 and after about a week he went to the emergency room for respiratory problems. Tanzi said, on Dec. 1, the boy experienced a skin rash and on Dec. 5 the oropharyngeal sample was collected which was sent to the research team. She said they can be certain that on Dec. 5, 2019, in this child's swab, the viral RNA of Sars-Cov 2 was detected. "Our study is very simple; we recovered these samples which could somehow be indicative of an early circulation of the virus in our territory," she said. After comparisons were made with the reference sequence, Tanzi said, "our sequence is 100% identical to that of Wuhan." "From our study it cannot be said that it (coronavirus) comes from China. We have simply seen a sequence that can be compared to the first that was identified in Wuhan," said Tanzi, who also believes that more studies are needed to look for other clues, to better understand how and when COVID-19 started.