Washington, December 11 (IANS) A new study found evidence of COVID-19 in a child from the Milan area in late November 2019, months before the first identified case of coronavirus disease in Italy.
Researchers from Italy and Canada analyzed oropharyngeal swab samples collected between September 2019 and February 2020 from 39 consenting patients, and one sample tested positive in the 4-year-old boy who lived in the outskirts of Milan and had no history of travel, according to the study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States.
The boy had a cough and rhinitis on November 21, 2019, and his sample was obtained on December 5, two weeks after the onset of symptoms, for the clinical diagnosis of suspected measles, according to the article.
“These findings, consistent with other evidence of the early spread of COVID-19 in Europe, advance the onset of the outbreak until late fall 2019,” the study said.
“The long-term unrecognized spread of SARS-CoV-2 in northern Italy would help explain, at least in part, the devastating impact and rapid course of the first wave of COVID-19 in Lombardy.”
The Italian Health Ministry said on Friday that another 16,999 people tested positive for the new coronavirus in Italy, confirming a downward trend in the number of single-day cases seen since late November.
The latest data confirmed a flattening in the second wave curve here, suggesting that the comprehensive set of rules implemented since the beginning of November, and based on a three-level system that defines a different level of alert and restrictions for each region, was Delivering Results.
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