Boy, 4, possibly first Covid patient in Italy more than a year ago

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A boy, 4, could possibly be the first Covid patient in Italy – more than a year ago.

A STUDY by the State University of Milan, claims SARS-CoV-2 was identified in an oropharyngeal smear sample performed on the child suspected of having measles at the time.

The report states the child developed a “cough and rhinitis” on November 21, 2019, and nine days later he was transferred to the emergency department with respiratory symptoms and vomiting.

On December 1, he had a measles-like rash.

It was on December 5, two weeks after the onset of symptoms, when the oropharyngeal smear sample was obtained for the clinical diagnosis of suspected measles.

“We describe the earliest evidence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in a patient in Italy as approximately three months before the first reported Covid-19 case in Italy,” added the report, with researchers claiming the finding is “important” as it “expands our knowledge about the timing and mapping of the SARS-CoV-2 transmission routes”.

The first official case of coronavirus in Italy was reported on February 21 in Codogno in the Lombardy region.


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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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