Italy: the coronavirus is present in wastewater as early as December 2019

Italie: le coronavirus présent dans des eaux usées dès décembre 2019

ROME | The new coronavirus 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.

“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 the A. A. N. (ribonucleic acid, an essential element of a virus), SARS-CoV-2 in samples collected in Milan and Turin the 18/12/2019,” explains a press release sent Friday to the AFP, the ISS, institute for public reference.

Traces were identical also found in the wastewater of Bologna (north-centre) on the 29th of January 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.

“This research can help to understand the beginning of the movement of the virus in Italy and provides consistent information with respect to” 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.

The Institute also cited a Spanish study which has identified the A. R. N. of this virus in the sewage of Barcelona gathered in mid-January, “approximately 40 days before the notification of the first indigenous case in Spain.

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