The new COVID-19 coronavirus has people scared. The prevailing belief seems to be this disease just recently hit Europe and the United States.
However, this article from January 3, 2020 discusses the number of nationwide flu patients in Italy, with the worst hit areas mirroring places we now know have COVID-19 outbreaks.
Some 225,000 people in Italy spent the Christmas holidays in bed with flu, the Healh Insitute, Istituto di Sanità (ISS) said on Thursday, meaning the total number of cases has now reached 1,587,000 in total.
The first flu-related deaths and admissions to intensive care for acute respiratory infections were also reported in the week of December 16-22. Three people are reported dead.
Although the flu hits annually, this article seems to imply this year’s cases were looking higher than usual. That all seems like a very strange coincidence now.
At the time, nobody knew about the outbreak in Wuhan, China, so nobody was looking or testing for COVID-19. I think it is quite likely this virus spread for a while before anyone even knew and a lot more people have had it than we realize. Time will tell.
Stay safe, stay strong!