The pandemic has brought the whole world to its knees, including entire states, from east to west, some of them quite large. It is a virus that has affected some areas more than others within nations, and in some countries has even affected “only a few provinces.”
For example, nearly 8,000 positive people have been reported in the Dominican Republic, while in Haiti, the nation that occupies the other half of the island, the sick are only 100. In Indonesia, thousands are estimated to have died as a result of COVID-19, however in neighboring Malaysia. deaths do not exceed one hundred.
In this regard, the New York Times conducted a study in collaboration with many experts on infectious diseases, epidemiologists and virologists from different parts of the planet to find an explanation for this diversity in the spread of Sars-Cov-2. What came out? That the spread of COVID-19 depends on three factors: demographic characteristics, cultural habits, and the environment.
As for demographics, countries with a low number of cases detected with very mild symptoms have a relatively young population and this makes them less contagious and less exposed to risks. In Africa, approximately 50,000 positive cases have been reported, a very small number compared to the African population (about 1.3 billion people). Africa is the youngest continent, with more than 60% of the population under the age of 25.
In different Asian areas people greet each other without meeting hands. In India the greeting is made at a distance by joining hands. These habits significantly reduce the risk of infection. Among cultural customs, attention should be paid to the tourism factor. Why? Simply put, territories that for practical reasons are less open to travelers, or to international trade, are also with few positive cases discovered.
The third feature is the environment.
It is still unclear whether coronavirus tolerates hot climates. Epidemics usually begin in the winter season in countries with milder climates like Italy and much of the United States, while coronavirus seems to have been almost absent from warmer areas like Guyana in South America and Adad in Central Africa.
However, virologists and epidemiologists advise not to create too many illusions and explain that the hot season can only lead to a decrease in cases and the spread of the epidemic, but he will be there.
In conclusion, how is mass distribution explained in Italy, Spain, France or the United States?
The answer is that the spread of the epidemic depended on the factors listed above (environment, cultural habits, and demographics), but also on another completely unpredictable one: the case.
For example, the presence of a “super distributor” (a person who infects far more individuals than the average) in public places or events and may have caused a chain of giant infections, compared to another country with almost identical characteristics to another, where instead, the lack of a “super distributor” has allowed a lower increase in infections. This is what may have happened in Italy, when the spread of COVID-19 is still completely unknown.
A study published yesterday says that coronavirus circulated in Milan a few weeks before the epidemic began in Italy on February 21, 2020.
The study was conducted on blood donors by ‘Policlinico di Milano’ and published in medRxiv. According to the results, at the beginning of the epidemic 4.6% of blood donors had antibodies to coronavirus, a percentage that increased to 7.1% in early April.
The social distance decided to improve the spread of Covid should not have increased the number of people who had acquired antibodies to coronavirus, but otherwise the percentage has increased.
The researchers selected a random sample of about 800 healthy blood donors who regularly attend the Policlinico di Milan, where the main Transfusion Center is active with more than 40,000 donors each year from Milan and the Lombardy region.