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COVID-19 discovered in Norway blood samples stored in 2019?

Research 2022-01-26, 6:39pm



In a surprising discovery, the Norwegian experts disclosed that the researchers of Akershus University Hospital found antibodies against COVID-19 dating back to December 2019, a month before the first case was discovered in Europe, as per the reports of Sputnik. 

On January 27, 2020, the first European case was discovered. Officially, the virus did not infiltrate Norway until February 24 of that year. The discovery occurred within the same time period as the first proven case in China.

The discovery was described as very surprising by the researchers themselves. Ahus project manager Anne Eskild said in a statement that the revelation transforms the story of the COVID outbreak. The Infection Control Act stated that the researchers looked for antibodies in anonymously kept blood samples. According to Sputnik, the samples were collected from pregnant mothers in their first trimester as part of maternity care and stored to monitor potential infectious illnesses.

Antibodies were found in 98 of 6,520 samples

Antibodies were found in 98 of the 6,520 samples examined. Even if a certain fraction of false-positive results must be considered, the researchers claim the conclusions are sound. Furthermore, Esklid observed that there is numerous evidence that they got infected. He further said that their findings redefine the history of the Corona pandemic in Norway and around the world, according to Sputnik. Esklid also said that there are probably few other countries that have access to stored blood samples at the population level, thus there are few or no other retrospective investigations. The Ahus researchers also said that this shows that the illness was widespread in significant portions of the world sooner than previously assumed

Previously, using molecular dating tools and epidemiological simulations, researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine estimated that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was likely circulating undetected for at least two months before the first human cases of COVID-19 were reported in Wuhan, China in late December 2019.

Norway to phase out mandatory COVID-19 quarantines

In the meanwhile, Norway will phase out mandatory COVID-19 quarantines for unvaccinated travellers and close contacts of infected people. However, those entering from a quarantined region and unable to present proof of vaccination must quarantine for at least three days under existing standards, according to the Local. The existing guidelines have been criticised for placing healthy people in quarantine for an unduly long period of time.