The sars coronavirus is present in Italy sooner than we thought. The Covid-19 was present in the wastewater of Milan and Turin, in northern Italy, from December 2019, two months before the first patient officially identified in the country, says a study by the higher Institute of health (ISS) Italian.
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" The study examined 40 samples of wastewater collected between October 2019 and February 2020. The results, confirmed by two different laboratories with two different methods, have confirmed the presence of RNA (ribonucleic acid, an essential element of a virus, editor's NOTE) of the Sars-CoV-2 in samples collected in Milan and in Turin on December 18, 2019 ", explains a press release sent Friday to the Agency France-Presse, ISS, institute for public reference.
No records in October and November
traces are identical were also found in the wastewater of Bologna (center-north) on January 29, 2020, while the first case official coronavirus contracted in Italy has been reported on 20 February, in the small town of Codogno, near Milan. The ISS also states that the samples of October and November 2019 and have revealed no evidence of the coronavirus in the wastewater.
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"This research can help to understand the beginning of the movement of the virus in Italy and provides consistent information in relation to the' analyses carried out by France on samples of patients in the hospital who have identified a positive Sars-CoV-2 (...) dating back to December 2019 ", said the release of the ISS.
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 abroad. 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.
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More than 34 500 deaths in Italy
"Our results confirm the evidence acquired now at international level on the importance of surveillance of the virus in samples from wastewater and at the entrance to the sewage treatment plant" water, in that same study Luca Lucentini, a responsible officer of the ISS. The fact of having found these traces of virus "does not automatically imply that the main chains of transmission (...) have started with these first cases," points out Luca Lucentini, believing that " a monitoring network on the territory can prove to be invaluable to control the epidemic ".
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According to Lucia Bonadonna, another in charge of the ISS, a pilot project will begin in July with the supervision of any traces of the virus in wastewater in tourist locations. "On the basis of the results of the pilot project, we believe that we can be ready for the surveillance of the whole of the national territory within the time periods potentially the most critical, next fall," concluded Lucia Bonadonna.
The outbreak of a new coronavirus has been officially more than 34 500 deaths in Italy since the first case identified on 20 February in Codogno, the first case identified outside of China, where the disease has made its appearance in December 2019. The region of Lombardy, and more generally the north of the peninsula, was then the epicenter of the epidemic in Italy and in Europe. The disease seems to be now controlled by Italy, with a few dozen deaths per day, and a number of infections is reduced. Two households have, nevertheless, made their appearance in recent days at Rome, where the health authorities ensure that the situation is " under control ".