09.06.2020 change 09.06.2020

Polish Doc Awarded by Italian President for COVID-19 Work

Credit: Fotolia Credit: Fotolia

A Polish medical biologist working in Milan has been awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy by Italian President Sergio Mattarella for his services in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

Dr. Maciej Tarkowski received the prestigious award after he and researchers from Milan’s Sacco hospital and the local university isolated the Italian strain of coronavirus at the end of February. 

Dr. Tarkowski told PAP at the time that isolating the strain from patients from the town of Codogno in the province of Lodi in the north of Italy, where the first case of infection in Italy was confirmed on February 20, would help them to understand how the strain differed from the pathogen from China.

He said: “Comparing the sequences of these viruses can help understand whether this virus is changing. 

“This is very important, because we know that, for example, the influenza virus mutates so much that every year we need a new vaccine.”

He added that vaccines developed a year earlier might not stop the virus in the new season and that determining this would be very important in the work on treating coronavirus and preventing infection.

The other scientists to be awarded were Claudia Balotta, Gianguglielmo Zehender, Arianna Gabrieli, Annalisa Bergna, and Alessia Lai.

From Rome, Sylwia Wysocka (PAP)

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