ROME, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Researchers from the University of Milan have recently found that a woman in the northern Italian city was infected with COVID-19 in November 2019, according to media reports.
Through two different techniques on skin tissue, the researchers identified in a biopsy of a 25-year-old woman the presence of RNA gene sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus dating back to November 2019, according to Italian regional daily newspaper L'Unione Sarda.
"There are, in this pandemic, cases in which the only sign of COVID-19 infection is that of a skin pathology," Raffaele Gianotti, who coordinated the research, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
"I wondered if we could find evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in the skin of patients with only skin diseases before the officially recognized epidemic phase began," said Gianotti, adding "we found 'the fingerprints' of COVID-19 in the skin tissue."
Based on data in the world literature, this is "the oldest evidence of the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a human being," said the report.