Investigative journalist Sharyl Atkinson recently tweeted,
Europe, French researchers said they found traces of covid-19 in Nov 2019…scientists from National Cancer Institute of Milan and University of Siena found 10% of blood samples from a cancer screening trial contained COVID antibodies… samples included some from Sept 2019.
According to the study, 11.6% of individuals in a lung cancer clinical trial, months before the known COVID outbreak, had already been exposed to the virus. As antibodies take several weeks post infection to develop, it’s likely that some individuals had active infections in August 2019, or perhaps much earlier as antibody detection offers a minimum, not maximum, time window post-infection.
Early COVID antibodies were found not only in Italy but also in France, “Tests suggests COVID-19 could have existed in France in November 2019 – two months before the first cases were officially confirmed in Europe.”
Similar findings were described in the U.S. Antibody tests run on American Red Cross blood donations from December 2019 to January 2020 showed just over 1% of blood donations contained COVID-19 antibodies, suggesting that the virus was active in the U.S. in the fall of 2019, perhaps earlier.