A preprint draft of the research is readily available on the medRXiv server.
Researchers from the University of Barcelona say they spotted the virus in sewage samples were collected in the Spanish city on March 12, 2019. Thats a number of months prior to the first cases that would result in the current pandemic were officially identified in Wuhan, China in early December.
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As brand-new cases of Covid-19 reach record levels in the United States, theres new proof the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that triggers the disease has been with us much longer than previously thought.
Its formerly been reported sewage samples recommended the coronavirus was present in Spain in mid-January of this year, over a month prior to the first case was verified there.
“It has actually been suggested that some uncharacterized influenza cases may have masked COVID-19 cases in the 2019-2020 season,” the Barcelona researchers compose.
In their summary of their findings, the group makes a point to keep in mind the oft-repeated theory that some especially rough influenza cases that were reported in the months prior to the new coronavirus emerging may have in fact been Covid-19 cases.
Its crucial likewise to note that this research study has actually not yet been peer reviewed, which is an essential part of the clinical vetting procedure prior to publication in a journal. Offered the need for info on the origin and spread of the pandemic, lots of scientists are openly sharing and promoting their information prior to publication, however it should still be treated as preliminary and taken with a grain of salt.
“Those contaminated with COVID-19 could have been diagnosed with flu in main care by error, contributing to the community transmission prior to the public health took steps,” adds co-author Albert Bosch in a statement. Bosch is likewise president of the Spanish Society of Virology.
” When its just one outcome, you constantly want more information, more research studies, more samples to validate it and rule out a lab mistake or a methodological problem,” Dr Joan Ramon Villalbi of the Spanish Society for Public Health and Sanitary Administration told Reuters. “Its definitely interesting, its suggestive.”
Its a little odd, to say the least, that the coronavirus popped up just once in Barcelonas wastewater nearly a year prior to Spain reported its first cases.
The group examined frozen waster water samples from nine various dates in between January 2018 and December 2019. All the samples returned negative for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 hereditary material, except for low levels that were found in the March 12, 2019 sample.