Coronavirus ‘was sweeping Europe in October’, bombshell research claims

Coronavirus could have been spreading in Europe as early as last October, bombshell new research has revealed.

Italian scientists claim hundreds of patients were rushed to hospital with serious pneumonia and flu-like symptoms.

Some of those admitted with Covid-19-like symptoms later died in hospital.

Epidemic expert Adriano Decarli said: “We want to know if the virus was already here in Italy at the end of 2019, and – if yes – why it remained undetected for a relatively long period so that we could have a clearer picture in case we have to face a second wave of the epidemic.

Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, added that doctors in virus hotspot Lombardy had reported unusual cases of pneumonia last year – even though the virus isn’t thought to have arrived in Italy until January.

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He claimed the patients were left with fluid in both lungs, high fevers, coughing, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.

Remuzzi added that the findings may show the virus can go undetected for months on end.

He said: “None of these cases have been documented as Covid-19 because there was no evidence yet of the existence of Covid-19.”

Italy’s government has brought in severe measures to try and halt the spread of the virus, whose epicentre in the country is in the northern region of Lombardy near Milan.

But despite putting the country on lockdown more than two weeks ago, so far it has been unable to flatten the curve of new cases.

It has seen the highest fatality rate from the disease, with 8.6% of patients dying from the virus.

In Lombardy, all 800 intensive care unit beds are currently filled with coronavirus patients.