The coronavirus was it in Europe prior to December 2019 ?
Glasgow Caledonian University
THE SCIENCE IN HIS WORDS / The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) circulates may be in Europe for longer than thought.
Recent studies seem to indicate that he was in Italy as early as December 2019. Even more surprising, researchers from the University of Barcelona have found traces of the virus in samples of untreated wastewater, which date of 12 march 2019.
A study on this topic has recently been published on medRxiv, a server pre-publication. The document is currently the subject of a critical review by external experts with a view to its publication in a scientific journal. As this process of peer review is not completed, the data must be considered with caution.
For the moment, we can observe how the experiment was conducted and what they have discovered exactly the researchers.
Fairly early in the history of the SARS-CoV-2, it was found that he was in the stools of infected people. When the virus makes its way through the intestine where it can cause gastro-intestinal symptoms — it loses its outer layer of protein, but fragments of genetic material (RNA) are able to survive the journey and are excreted in the feces. At this stage, the virus is no longer infectious — at least, according to what we know until now.
However, the fact that these RNA fragments of coronavirus can be found in untreated wastewater (referred to as ” influential “) is useful for monitoring the progression of the disease. Thus, one can predict the outbreak of an epidemic a week to ten days until they were only observed in the official figures since it excretes the virus before the onset of obvious symptoms. People presymptomatic must be sick enough to be tested, obtain their results and, finally, to be admitted to the hospital as a case official, hence the delay of about a week.
This is why many countries, including Spain, watch now the sewage for traces of the sars coronavirus. In the framework of the study conducted in Barcelona, specialists in wastewater were examined frozen samples of influent collected from January 2018 to December 2019, to see at what time the virus appeared in the city.