Coronavirus timeline rewritten
The coronavirus may have been circulating in Italy since September 2019, three months before it first emerged in China, according to a study released Sunday by the National Cancer Institute in Milan.
The research showed that 11.6 percent of the 959 healthy volunteers who participated in a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 to March 2020 had developed COVID-19 antibodies well before February.
Giovanni Apolone, a co-author of the study, said four cases from the study dated to the first week in October last year, which means those people had been infected in September.
The northern region of Lombardy, whose capital is Milan where the pandemic first emerged in February, had previously reported an unusually high number of cases of severe flu and pneumonia in the last quarter of 2019 in a sign that COVID-19 may have circulated earlier than previously thought.