While the United States, in particular, is pointing the finger at China for its handling of the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic in late December and early January 2020, recent research suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was present elsewhere in the world long before it created health issues for China.
Research by scientists led by Rosa Maria Pinto and Albert Bosch (President of the Spanish Society of Virology) at the Group on Enteric Virus at the University of Barcelona have made a rather stunning discovery while studying frozen samples of Barcelona's wastewater collected as early as March 12, 2019 as part of a project to assist in early detection of pandemic viruses.
Here is the news release from the University of Barcelona dated June 26, 2020:
The study was funded by SUEZ, a French-based water, electricity and natural gas supply company and waste management company (through its spin-off company Suez Environment) was designed to detect the virus in waste water and use the data to assist with future COVID-19 type outbreaks.
Here is a quote from the news release:
"Although COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, researchers proved there are large quantities of the coronavirus genome in the excrements that reach waste waters. This situation made the waste water-based epidemiology a potential tool for an early detection of the circulation of the virus among population, especially considering the important presence of asymptomatic people, especially considering the important presence of asymptomatic and asymptomatic people who transmit the virus."
As part of the project, researchers looked at samples from water treatment plants in Barcelona starting April 13, 2020. They noted that the levels of the SARS-CoV-2 genome in the samples coincided with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spanish population. Using frozen samples from previous months between January and March 2020, researchers found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was detectable as early as January 15, 2020, 41 days before the announcement of the first case of COVID1-19 in Spain which was announced on February 25, 2020.
Here is an additional and most interesting quote from the news release:
"These results encouraged the researchers to analyse some frozen samples between January 2018 and December 2019, with the shocking results of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genome in March 2019, before any notification of COVID-19 cases in the world. “All samples were negatives regarding the SARS-CoV-2 genome presence except for March 12, 2019, in which the levels of SARS-CoV-2 were low but were positive, using two different targets”, says the researcher."
While the conclusions of this paper have not yet been peer-reviewed, the potential discovery of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Barcelona's wastewater from March 2019 is nothing less than earth shattering. How could this have been missed? Here is a suggestion from one of the lead researchers:
"Those infected with COVID-19 (in 2019) could have been diagnosed with flu in primary care by mistake, contributing to the community transmission before the public health took measures."
In case you think that this development went unnoticed by China, the recipient of much of the world's COVID-19 pandemic vitriol, here is a recent article that appeared on the Global Times website, the mouthpiece of China's communist leadership on June 27, 2020:
If this research proves to be valid once it is peer-reviewed, it will totally change how the world views the current pandemic. It certainly appears that the blame for the COVID-19 pandemic should not be laid at the feet of China and that the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus could well be far, far wider than we are being led to believe by "the experts" and government officials.
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