'Superspreader' Linked to Coronavirus Cases in 3 Countries

British man says he has fully recovered
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2020 5:31 AM CST
Updated Feb 15, 2020 12:30 PM CST
'Superspreader' Linked to Coronavirus Cases in 3 Countries
A man in protective clothing cleans the County Oak Medical Centre GP practice in Brighton, England, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.   (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)

Through no fault of his own, a British businessman appears to have been a "superspreader" linked to at least 10 coronavirus infections in three countries, authorities say. Officials say the man was at a business conference in Singapore from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24, where he apparently caught the virus from an attendee from Wuhan, Live Science reports. After returning to his hometown in Hove, England, the man traveled to a ski resort in France with his family and flew home from Geneva, Switzerland, on Jan. 28. Officials say the man spread the virus to at least six people at the French resort, one of whom was diagnosed after returning home to Spain. Officials in Britain are investigating four coronavirus cases linked to the man, who is now in isolation in a London hospital, the Guardian reports.

Authorities say they are trying to find and test everybody who had contact with the man, including those who sat near him on his EasyJet flight from Geneva to London. "Superspreading," when a person passes an infection to an unusually large number of people, is "a feature of nearly every outbreak" and can have a major impact on how they develop, the BBC notes. The "superspreader," Steve Walsh, tells the Argus that he has fully recovered from the coronavirus, though he is remaining in the isolation unit for now. He says he contacted Britain's National Health Service as soon as he found out he had been exposed to the virus and followed instructions to "self-isolate at home" before he was moved to the unit. "Whilst I have fully recovered, my thoughts are with others who have contracted coronavirus," he says. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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