This was announced by the chief Italian virologist Arnaldo Caruso, reports La Repubblica.
According to him, the virus in question was detected in Italy back in August 2020.
“The Italian variant found in Brescia may be a precursor to a variant that only appeared in late September in the United Kingdom and then spread to Europe, including Italy,” Caruso said.
Local doctors identified the strain while observing a patient who contracted COVID-19 in April — they were primarily interested in the fact that after two months his test for coronavirus was again positive.
Having studied the tests passed by the patient in more detail, Italian experts found out that he had a new variant of the coronavirus, similar to the “British” one, but not identical to it.
Recall that a new strain of coronavirus in the UK became known on December 14. And on December 19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the mutated pathogen could be 70% more infectious, although this does not affect the mortality from COVID-19. Further, this type of virus from Britain began to spread to other countries.
We also reported that the World Health Organization is confident that the emergence of new mutations of the coronavirus infection that causes COVID-19 is a natural process and will continue in the future.