Italy Had Coronavirus in Sewage as Early as December, Study Says


The ISS institute said that waste water collected in Milan and Turin past year including in Bologna showed genetic traces of COVID-19.

These findings are consistent with the estimates of chinese scientists who rely on the appearance of the virus in mid-December at a market in Wuhan selling the game, even though Beijing has recently suggested that the virus could arrive in China from overseas. The first recorded case in northern Italy was a man in Codogno, who had dined with a colleague from Shanghai.

Rome: Coronavirus-battered Italy became the latest country - and the third in Europe - to report presence of the virus in December 2019 or January 2020, well before the pandemic created havoc across the world, reports said on Friday.

Coronavirus may have been present in Italy as early as December, according to the country's National Institute for Health (ISS).

The results might help scientists understand better how the virus began spreading in Italy, ISS experts said in a statement. Nine other towns in Lombardy and neighbouring Veneto followed and the entire country went into lockdown in early March.

And they were found in samples collected in Bologna in January, according to the national health institute in Italy.

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Samples taken in October and November 2019 examined damaging.

Nevertheless she reported the investigation did not "automatically indicate that the primary transmission chains that led to the improvement of the epidemic in our place originated from these incredibly very first situations".

There have been 34,500 coronavirus related deaths in the country with several thousand still infected with the virus.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, researchers across the world have been tracing the spread of the coronavirus through waste water and sewage, finding genetic traces from Brisbane to Paris and Amsterdam. The institute also cited a Spanish study that has identified the RNA of this virus in the sewage of Barcelona collected in mid-January, " approximately 40 days before the notification of the first indigenous case in Spain.

The ISS said it had urged the health ministry to coordinate the collection of samples regularly in sewers and at the entrance to purification plants "as a tool to detect and monitor the circulation of the virus in different territories at an early stage".

The institute states it aims to start a pilot venture monitoring squander water at vacationer resorts in July with a perspective to location up a nationwide squander drinking water monitoring network afterwards this calendar year.