OREANDA-NEWS. Italian scientists announced their shocking discovery. Blood samples taken in Italy six months before the outbreak of the new coronavirus pandemic showed traces of it.

A scientific paper published in SAGE journals says antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus were found in tests in people screened for lung cancer between September 2019 and March 2020.

It is noted that 14% of cases of detection of a previously unknown coronavirus occurred in September 2019, and more than 30% of cases date back to the second week of February 2020.

In total, antibodies to coronavirus were found in 111 out of 959 people. At the same time, more than 50 percent of patients with antibodies to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the S-protein of the coronavirus were found in Lombardy, an area in northern Italy where the first wave of the epidemic was most severe.

The unexpected results show an odd circulation of the virus among asymptomatic individuals in Italy months before the country's first COVID-19 patient arrived from abroad, the researchers said.

Thus, the results that the Italian researchers received indicate that the pandemic could have started much earlier than the World Health Organization believes, and perhaps it happened not in China, as it was believed until now, but in another country in the world.