COVID-19 VIRUS IN BRAZIL AS EARLY AS NOVEMBER 2019, STUDY CONFIRMS
A study conducted in Brazil has found out that the SARS-CoV-2 RNA had been in the country as early as November 27, 2019, or 66 days before the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the Americas, teleSUR reported on July 4, 2020.
The new study by the University of Santa Catarina in Brazil revealed that SARS-CoV-2 particles were found in human sewage at the end of November 2019, and it might be the oldest sample of COVID-19 in Latin America.
The authors of the study published in the MedRxiv science journal analyzed human sewage located in Florianópolis from late October until the Brazil lockdown in early March. The scientists detected SARS-CoV-2 in two samples collected independently on November 27, 2019. Subsequent samplings were positive until March 4, 2020, coinciding with the first COVID-19 case reported in Santa Catalina.
"Researchers explained the discovery of a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which were found in Florianópolis in November 2019 showed that SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating in Brazil since late November 2019, much earlier than the first reported case in the Americas," the study stressed. Other researches in China, Spain, and Italy also indicated the virus was already circulating in those three countries before the first cases were diagnosed. The findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 was being passed within the community for several months before the first cases being reported by regional, national, or Pan-American authorities, according to the researchers.