'Patient zero' traced to Nov
An Italian was found to have been infected with COVID-19 in November 2019, making her "patient zero" of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
Researchers at the University of Milan revealed that a skin biopsy on a 25-year-old woman showed the presence of the coronavirus in Italy in November 2019.
The woman was affected by an atypical dermatitis, and a biopsy on her skin highlighted the presence of the novel coronavirus.
This is "the oldest evidence of the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a human being", the report said.
An earlier study by Italian scientists had detected the virus in a 4-year-old boy's throat secretions, following a swab test conducted in early December 2019.
A separate Italian study last year suggested that the coronavirus may have been circulating in the country as early as September 2019.
Infections are surging around the world, with more than 90.9 million confirmed cases and 1.94 million deaths by Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.