Italy was the first European country that suffered the coronavirus outbreak in late February, near Milan.
However, a new study is showing a different reality than the authorities believed all this time.
COVID-19 spread earlier than the world thought. A study conducted by the Milan Polyclinic Hospital found that one out of 20 blood donors already had antibodies to the virus only a couple of days after Italy’s first diagnosed case on February 20.
This finding means that coronavirus was already present in the country for at least two weeks before the official date.
A similar case happened in France, where a blood sample taken from a patient on December 27, recently tested positive for coronavirus while in California a person died from COVID-19 on February 6, according to health officials.
Between February 24 and April 8, researchers in Italy conducted over 800 antibody tests to asymptomatic blood donors, and 4,6 percent of them tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.
According to these results, the virus in Italy had an outbreak at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020.
Although this study doesn’t help scientists to understand the nature of the virus, it at least shows the exact arrival of COVID-19 in Europe and its rapid spread.
The death toll in Italy is over 32,000 up to date.