A year ago the coronavirus was discovered in Italy, in Codogno

A year ago the coronavirus was discovered in Italy, in Codogno

A year ago the coronavirus was discovered in Italy

It was the first case of Covid-19, the 38-year-old patient from Lodi with severe pneumonia, who is doing well today. Here's how we lived that period and what happened in those days and immediately after. Today we are hunting for the origins of the virus

(image: Getty Images) A ​​year has passed since, in the Lodi area and in particular in Codogno, the first cases of Covid-19 were reported in Italy. Remembering 21 February 2020 - the date of the anniversary - can be important, however, to reconstruct the history of the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus epidemic in our country, and also to highlight the knowledge acquired and the progress made in the fight against the virus. Here's what happened in those days a year ago and what happened after.

Why February 21, 2020

It all starts on the evening of February 20, 2020, when a 38-year-old man Codogno goes to the emergency room with severe pneumonia, therefore with symptoms attributable to Covid-19. On 21 February 2020 it is announced as the first case of local Italian Covid-19, not attributable to a return from China, together with five other patients. If until that moment we had believed or hoped (and made many hypotheses) that the virus would not arrive or in any case it would not spread in Italy, the events that took place in those days have disillusioned us. And the date of February 21 will go down in history, at least to that relating to the epidemic and to our country. In those days, the search for patient 0, the first case of Covid-19 in Italy (or even in Europe, as a node of contact with a patient in China, as was initially thought), was very fervent and was important for reconstructing the chain of contagion and understand more about the virus. However, we can say that this very complex research did not lead to any results after one year.

Italy: the following days until the lockdown

From that moment on, attention also increases in the rest of Italy, even if we continue to think or hope, for a few more days , that the virus has not spread widely to other regions as well. At the end of February and in the first days of March 2020, the contagion spread to Northern Italy and begins to manifest itself in other areas as well, although not with the same intensity. On 4 March there are a total of 2,700 documented cases in our country and on 9 March 2020 the former premier Conte will announce the lockdown, effective from 10 March. Italy is the first country in Europe affected to document the coronavirus contagion, in the world together with Iran and South Korea (globally the most affected at the time, together with China). We know the rest well and we retraced it recalling the first mysterious pneumonia of January 2020, which essentially paved the way for the epidemic (the presence of the pandemic will be declared by the WHO still later, on 11 March 2020). >

The personal story: patient 1 in Codogno

Patient 1 had symptoms as early as February 15, 2020 and went to the emergency room with a fever on February 18, even though he had been sent back to home after a few hours. Following a major deterioration, on the evening of the 20th he was back in hospital. And the 38-year-old from Codogno, in the province of Lodi, will be remembered since then as the Italian patient 1. He will be immediately hospitalized and transferred from Lodi to Pavia, at the infectious disease clinic at the San Matteo Polyclinic. Already upon arrival at the hospital he is in critical condition, in intensive care, and is intubated. His family will also test positive for coronavirus. He will be discharged on March 25, 2020 - at the height of our lockdown - after about four weeks of hospitalization, three of which in intensive care. Fortunately, today he is fine, as is the family. Later it will be shown that patient 0 is not a friend of his who returned from China, with whom he had contact.

Patient 1, in Italy and in the world

To date there is and we are looking for the first Italian coronavirus patient (patient 0 or patient 1). So far the oldest Italian patient with Covid-19, discovered about a month ago, turns out to be a 25-year-old Milanese woman who had atypical dermatitis in November 2019, today confirmed as a case of Covid-19, albeit only with this symptom. But it is possible that there are previous cases in Italy and other countries. In fact, research is underway all over the world and one of the scientists' goals for this year is to reconstruct the chain of the first infections and find out what is the origin of the virus: when and where did the leap of species take place? In this regard, the WHO has already been at work for some time. The latest data just reported by the WHO task force, which returned from China, are interesting: in December 2019 (month of the very first cases in China) the epidemic was probably much more extensive than assumed and several variants of Sars-Cov were already circulating -2 . In short, the virus had probably changed several times already at the end of 2019.

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