Chicago Had a 'Super-Spreader'

CDC describes cluster of cases linked to a single man
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2020 5:50 PM CDT
Chicago Had a 'Super-Spreader'
A traffic message board displays a message about coronavirus prevention on I-94 South bound in Chicago, on March 28.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

New research suggests the first people infected with the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, spread it to an average of 5.7 others, per Bloomberg. And those aren't even the "super-spreaders." One such person in Chicago, described in a CDC report released Wednesday, was responsible for confirmed or probable infections in up to 15 others while experiencing only mild symptoms. The agency refers to it as a "super-spreading event." The man who'd recently traveled outside of Illinois—let's call him Patient A—attended a dinner, a funeral, and a birthday party in February, bestowing hugs and kisses on people in his circle. Three of them later died, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Patient A first shared a meal with two members of a family who'd lost a loved one, both of whom later developed symptoms of COVID-19.

One, over 60 with an underlying health condition, would eventually die in a hospital. The day after the dinner, Patient A attended the funeral, where he hugged other family members. Two later developed symptoms, including one who'd visited the hospitalized patient. Three days after the funeral, Patient A attended a birthday party with nine members of another family, seven of whom fell ill and two of whom died, per BuzzFeed. Before dying, the two—over 60 with underlying health issues—are believed to have each passed the virus to at least one other person. And one of those people likely passed it on as well, per the Sun-Times. Three party guests then attended a church service, where they passed an offering plate to a health care worker who hadn't treated anyone with COVID-19 and was later diagnosed. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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