A new study appears to show COVID-19 antibodies were already circulating by September 2019 in Italy, well before the first-known case of the virus, with widespread transmission already present by February 2020 in the country.
The study notes that there has yet to be any research on the true onset of the pandemic causing coronavirus, but in screenings of blood samples from 959 asymptomatic patients that were enrolled in a lung cancer screening trial in Italy, 14% showed “specific antibodies” as early as September 2019. By the second week of February 2020, close to 30% of patients had already screened positive for the antibodies.
“This study shows an unexpected very early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 among asymptomatic individuals in Italy several months before the first patient was identified, and clarified the onset and spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” the study’s abstract reads. “Finding SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in asymptomatic people before the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy may reshape the history of pandemic.” Read more >>