The novel coronavirus was circulating in Italy since September last year, a study by the National Cancer Institute of the Italian city of Milan showed, signaling that COVID-19 might have spread beyond China earlier than previously thought.
The WHO has said the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the respiratory disease it causes, were unknown before the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December.
Italy’s first COVID-19 patient was detected on Feb. 21 in a little town near Milan, in the northern region of Lombardy.
However, the Italian researchers’ findings, published by the institute’s scientific magazine Tumori Journal, show that 11.6 percent of 959 healthy volunteers enrolled in a lung cancer screening trial between September and March had developed coronavirus antibodies well before February.
A further specific SARS-CoV-2 antibody test was carried out by the University of Siena for the same research titled “Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the pre-pandemic period in Italy.”
It showed that four cases dated back to the first week of October were also positive for antibodies neutralizing the virus, meaning they had been infected in September, said Giovanni Apolone, a co-author of the study.
“This is the main finding: People with no symptoms not only were positive after the serological tests, but had also antibodies able to kill the virus,” Apolone said.
“It means that the new coronavirus can circulate among the population for long and with a low rate of lethality not because it is disappearing but only to surge again,” he said.
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said the incoming administration of US president-elect Joe Biden should move quickly to restore lines of communication with China that frayed during US President Donald Trump’s term or risk a crisis that could escalate into military conflict. “Unless there is some basis for some cooperative action, the world will slide into a catastrophe comparable to World War I,” Kissinger said during the opening session of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. He said military technologies available today would make such a crisis “even more difficult to control” than those of earlier eras. “America and China are
14 GRIEVANCES: Australia’s values, democracy and sovereignty ‘are not up for trade,’ the prime minister said, after Beijing accused Canberra of poisoning bilateral relations Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would not compromise national security and sovereignty, as Beijing ramped up its criticism of his government and warned it against making China an enemy. “Australia will always be ourselves,” Morrison said in a television interview yesterday with the Nine Network. “We will always set our own laws and our own rules according to our national interests — not at the behest of any other nation, whether that’s the US or China or anyone else.” A Chinese diplomat in Canberra gave a document to Australian media outlets outlining 14 grievances and accusing Canberra of “poisoning bilateral
For thousands of years, the dainty Fritillaria delavayi has grown slowly on the rocky slopes of the Hengduan mountains in China, producing a bright green flower after its fifth year. The conspicuous small plant has one deadly enemy: people, who harvest the flower for traditional Chinese medicine. As commercial harvesting has intensified, Fritillaria delavayi has vanished — by rapidly evolving to produce gray and brown leaves and flowers that cannot be so easily seen by pickers. Scientists have discovered that the color of the plant’s leaves has become more camouflaged — matching the background rocks on which they grow — in areas where
On the morning of Oct. 23, a 56-year-old employee at West Japan Railway was inspecting trains when he encountered an Asian black bear just outside Tsuruga Station in Japan’s northwestern Fukui Prefecture. He escaped with just a scratch, but about 10 minutes later, the same bear fractured the leg of a worker at a nearby construction site. Four days before the incident, a male bear entered a four-story shopping center in neighboring Ishikawa Prefecture. The 1.3m-tall bear holed up in a storage room for 13 hours, until it was shot by a local hunting group. Between April and September, wild bears were spotted 13,670