A British man transmitted the Corona virus to at least 11 people without setting foot in the epidemic center in China, on a trip that shows how the deadly virus can be transmitted in the world.
The adult British citizen, whose name has not been released, was infected with the virus while participating in a conference in Singapore, and then transferred to many of his countrymen while on vacation in the French Alps, before being diagnosed upon his return to the United Kingdom.
Among those who were infected by this man, five were hospitalized in France and five in Britain, while another man was hospitalized on the Spanish island of Majorca.
How quickly transmitted a new Corona virus infection in all these different regions?
The man participated in a business conference in Singapore from 20 to 22 January. More than 100 people, including a Chinese national from Hubei Province, the virus center that has killed more than 900 people, participated in the conference.
Haute-Savoie, the French Alps
After that he went to France and spent a few days from 24 to 28 January in a ski resort in Contamine-Mongua with a group of British citizens and they stayed in two apartments in the same chalet.
When he had a fever on his return to southern England, he went to a medical center in the southeastern town of Brighton, where he was diagnosed with the Coronavirus.
On February 6 he was transferred to the Infectious Diseases Unit at St. Thomas Hospital in London.
The British health authorities also confirmed the injury of five other people who were in contact with him in a chalet in the French ski resort.
Some employees were removed from the Grenadier pub, which the man had visited before being transferred to the hospital. But the pub remained open.
A Brighton medical center said on Monday it had temporarily closed its doors “for a health and safety reason”.
BBC TV and Sky News said that a staff member of the center had been confirmed to be infected with the virus, although this was not officially confirmed.
On February 8, Health Secretary Agnes Posen said that five British citizens, including a child, who had lived in the chalet with the man, had been confirmed with the virus.
Six other Britons staying in the chalet were taken to hospital for observation.
Posen added that “there are no serious signs” of the injured indicating any threat to their lives.
The owners of the shops in the resort were keen to avoid any exaggeration in the threat of the virus as French families prepared to come to the region for the winter holidays.
Three schools where one of the injured British students, a nine-year-old child, has been closed, 100 people have been examined and tested positive for HIV.
Similar efforts were made to monitor travelers who traveled from Geneva – the closest major airport to the resort – with the man when he returned to Britain on January 28.
A member of the group stayed in France and sought medical help after returning to his home in Majorca. The infection occurred between January 25 and 29, according to the Spanish authorities.
An official in the Spanish health ministry said the man in Mallorca was “in good health.”
The man’s wife and two daughters (10 and 7 years) were also hospitalized for tests and confirmed that they do not carry the virus.
Concerns about the rapid spread of the virus
Experts said the rapid spread of the virus heralds the possibility of corona becoming a global epidemic.
“The latest report of the transmission of infection to British citizens in France is disturbing, but it is not an unexpected development,” said Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia.
“This confirms the fact that the transmission of the disease is no longer confined to China. It is too early to know when and whether the spread of the disease will turn into a pandemic, and whether we will begin to see the continuing transmission of the virus from one person to another in Europe.”