How One Italian Town Managed to Stop All New Infections

Vo Euganeo took extreme measures, including isolating and testing every single resident
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2020 10:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Italian town of Vo Euganeo, near Venice, was at the center of Italy's coronavirus outbreak—one of the first clusters in the country appeared there, and per the Straits Times, it was the site of Italy's first death from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. But the town took extreme measures to contain the outbreak right at the start—and so far, they're working. The town immediately went on a two-week lockdown, isolating all of its 3,300 residents and testing them all. It found that about 3% of the population—more than officials expected—was positive, RFI reports. But more than half of them were asymptomatic, per Reuters. After two weeks of isolation they tested again; there was a 90% drop in the rate of positive results. As of Friday, the town hasn't seen any new infections at all, Sky News reports. More on this development:

  • What does it mean? An infectious disease expert at Imperial College London who was involved in the experiment explains how it could apply to the wider population: "It is clear that you cannot test all Italians—but you can test people close to those who are asymptomatic. We must use asymptomatic cases as an alarm bell to widen our action."

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