People who had visited Italy accounted for more than a quarter of the first reported cases of the new coronavirus outside China, according to a new study that found most initial infections were linked to just three countries.

Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used publicly-available data to trace the early spread of COVID-19 to dozens of affected countries in the 11 weeks before the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic.

They found that 27 percent of all the first reported cases were people with travel links to Italy, while 22 percent had been to China and 11 percent had travelled from Iran.

The study, which was published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases this week, found that overall three quarters of the first cases in affected countries were linked to recent travel.

Source: Aljazeera

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