TRIBUNNEWS.COM, ROMA – A new study by Italian scientists suggests that continental Europe may have been exposed to the coronavirus (Covid-19) earlier than China.
According to the results of their study, the coronavirus may have spread in Italy as early as October 2019, two months before China announced to the world its findings of cases of pneumonia caused by an unknown disease.
Quoted from the page Sputnik News, Thursday (7/22/2021) evening, researchers retested individual blood samples for lung cancer before the pandemic began.
One of the researchers, Giovanni Apollone, said that three samples were found to contain an antibody related to the coronavirus, Immunoglobulin M (IgM), which indicates that a person has recently been infected.
Please note, IgM is an antibody that is produced earlier when an infection is found in the body.
“The results of this retest show that what we previously reported in asymptomatic patients is a plausible signal of the early circulation of the virus in Italy,” Apollone said.
However, the results of this study do not provide conclusive evidence regarding infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
According to the study, none of the three types of antibodies contained sufficient levels and was considered evidence of infection by Erasmus University in the Netherlands, a facility affiliated with the World Health Organization (WHO).
One of the scientists involved in the study, Gabriella Sozzi, said that this may have happened because at the start of the pandemic the virus was less aggressive and less contagious.
While this study does not answer the question of the origins of the coronavirus, its findings are likely to start a debate on this issue.
Previously, the case Covid-19 was first known to have occurred in the city of Wuhan, China in December 2019.
While Europe reported its first case in January 2020.
However, this study suggests that the infectious disease could have emerged on the continent as early as November 2019.