'Puzzling' study claims SARS-CoV-2 predates China outbreak

The published paper says the virus was seen in a small number of Italians during a lung screening trial in October last year

An Italian study supporting the case that the novel coronavirus was circulating outside China earlier than previously thought has sparked doubts among some Western scientists who called for further tests.

The paper published by the Italian Cancer Institute (INT) describes the presence of neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in blood taken from a small number of healthy patients in Italy in October last year during a lung cancer screening trial.

If the data are correct, they would change the history of the pandemic and raise questions of

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