The first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, can be traced back to Nov. 17, according to government data reportedly seen by the South China Morning Post. Scientists have been trying to backdate several cases to pinpoint “Patient Zero” since the then-epidemic was first reported in Wuhan in January. Now they know a 55-year-old person from Hubei province was likely the first person to have contracted COVID-19 on Nov. 17, 2019. Officials have also identified at least 266 people who were infected last year, many before they say they realized they were dealing with the new disease in late December.
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