The residents of Giglio Island in Italy did not face the wrath of the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak. Islanders who had come in contact with visitors who were infected with the virus did not contract the disease. And the reason behind this mysterious phenomenon is still unknown.
Paolo Muti, a cancer researcher and a resident of the island was ready for a major outbreak to take place on the island after she got to know about four visitors who contracted the disease. But, much to her surprise, none of the 800 residents of the island developed any symptoms.
COVID-19 Mystery of Giglio Island
The only physician of the island for 40 years, Dr. Armando Schiaffino, was also worried about the disease. "Every time an ordinary childhood illness, like scarlet fever, measles or chicken pox strikes, within a very few days practically all get," he said as quoted by local media.
Muti, who is an epidemiology professor at the University of Milan was pretty much curious about what is happening in the island. Many questions started cropping up her mind and she was intrigued enough to find the answers. "Dr. Schiaffino came to me and told me, 'Hey, look, Paola, this is incredible. In this full pandemic, with all the cases that came to the island, nobody is sick.' So I said to myself: 'Right, here we can do a study, no? I am here,'" Muti mentioned.
She got bewildered by the fact that the visitors had come in close contact with the people of the island but still nothing happened. A man in his 60s came to the island to attend a funeral and he was coughing at the event. He lost his life three weeks later but nothing happened to the islanders who came in contact with him.
Blessing for Islanders Amid Global Pandemic
Other cases confirming visitors coming in contact with the islanders were also reported. In April, 723 out of the 800 islanders had their blood tested to make sure that they were not infected. Out of all the tests only one elderly man was found to have antibodies who had sailed on the same ferry to the island with a German visitor.
The researcher has not come to any conclusion about why the virus is not affecting the people on her island. She is planning to write a study on the matter. According to Muti, the islanders might have not been exposed enough to the virus to get infected. However, it turned out to be a blessing for the residents of the island that they got spared from the deadliest disease outbreaks the world is facing in current times.
The novel virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 16 million people worldwide and claiming the lives of over 644,000 people globally in more than 170 countries.
Scientists around the world are working at a rapid speed to find a cure for the virus. More than 300 vaccine candidates are in different stages of trials as a vaccine is expected by the first quarter of 2021.