Wed. Apr 8th, 2020

The uncertainty of the patient zero

Doctors dismiss what they considered the main transmitter

Right now it is the issue that most worries both Italian doctors and international authorities. The only clue that had been failed. It was a man, resident in one of the infected Lombardy villages, who had been in China, in the city of Shanghai. The first tests were negative and in the second, performed to look for antibodies, the disease trail has also been ruled out. This means that it is not the main transmitter and that we will have to keep looking. In the focus that is concentrated in an area of ​​the Veneto it was suspected that the beginning of the chain could be in eight Chinese citizens who had gone to the same bar as the first deceased, although for the moment there is also no evidence that they have tested positive .

The commissioner chosen for the emergency, Angelo Borrelli, has indicated that finding the origin of the outbreak is “very important and that is why this broad sanitary cordon has been established. Only if we find it can the chain of possible contagions be rebuilt ». What is happening for the first time in Europe is that the epidemiological track has been lost and that greatly complicates the task of doctors. The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe, Hans Kluge, said that “what worries most about the Italian situation is that not all registered cases seem to have a clear epidemiological history, that is, a link with travel to China or with contacts with other cases already confirmed ».

Meanwhile, in the most affected villages, the situation remains of absolute confusion. The hospital of Codogno, the town considered to be the “zero zone”, is closed to the public for fear that contagion can continue to spread from there. Yesterday, a nurse said that “panic is absolute.” «The relatives of the infected do not stop calling to ask about their relatives who have been isolated. My impression is that they first let the oxen escape and then closed the block, ”he added. The health staff of this center is in quarantine.


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