Coronavirus was already in Italy by December, waste water study finds
Italian officials say that the COVID-19 virus was present in the country in December, after the National Institute of Health stated that water from Milan and Turin showed genetic traces of the virus on December 18. This adds to the increasing amount of evidence that the virus has been circulating the world earlier than previously believed. Chinese officials confirmed the first few cases at the end of December, however, Italy’s first reported case occurred in mid-February.
Similarly, French scientists tested samples of a suspected pneumonia death near Paris on December 27 and found that the patient actually had COVID-19. Meanwhile, in Spain, another study found that traces of the virus were present in wastewater collected in mid-January in Barcelona.