According to a recent article published on the website of the medical journal Emerging Infectious Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
two researchers from the Department of Health Biomedicine of the University of Milan analyzed the throat swab samples collected from September 2019 to February 2020 of 39 patients, and in a WHO The laboratory that organized standards-certified tests the samples for PCR and eventually detected the novel coronavirus in a sample of a throat swab collected from a 4-year-old boy.
The article said that researchers had previously detected the novel coronavirus in a wastewater sample in Milan last December.
This finding, consistent with other evidence of the early spread of COVID-19 in Europe, advanced the start of the epidemic to the end of autumn 2019.
This finding is epidemiologically important, is essential to accurately determine the timeline of the novel coronavirus epidemic in Italy, and to help prevent future epidemics.