Recent findings suggest that COVID-19 may not have first emerged in China and have been spreading around the world before it was first reported in Wuhan.
A study that tested blood samples collected from donors in the US in December 2019, has found the presence of COVID-19 specific antibodies in those samples.
A total of 7,389 blood samples were tested from nine US states between December 13 and January 17. The samples were from donors collected by the American Red Cross. They were sent to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to test for antibodies.
It was found that out of the 7,389 samples collected 106 were found to have antibodies specific to COVID-19.
The paper said, “The findings of this report suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been present in the U.S. in December 2019, earlier than previously recognized.” The first US case had been reported on January 19.
The first reported case of COVID-19 was in Wuhan, China late December. Since then, it has spread throughout the world and even reaching the remote continent of Antarctica recently which is inhabited mostly by researchers and naval officers.
The findings have reignited debates concerning the ‘patient zero’ of COVID-19, after an earlier report where a patient in France admitted after flu-like symptoms in December of 2019 was found to have COVID-19.