ROME—When the new coronavirus swept into northern Italy in late February, doctors were so in the dark about how to treat the disease ravaging their patients they asked friends in China to translate clinical guidelines from Mandarin they had found online.

“There was everything in there, including traditional Chinese medicine,” recalls Marco Rizzi, the head of the infectious-diseases ward at Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, a city at the center of Italy’s outbreak. “Now we have more cards to play.”



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