The British man labelled a coronavirus “super spreader” after passing the bug to at least 11 people has been identified.
The British man labelled a coronavirus "super spreader" after passing the bug to at least 11 people has been identified.
Steve Walsh is a middle-aged businessman who has attracted intense media coverage since he contracted the virus from China and spread it through his wide travels.
Mr Walsh had come into contact with the virus after a business trip to Singapore last month.
He then went to a ski resort in the French Alps, potentially infecting other people before he was diagnosed with the virus and hospitalised.
He issued a statement tonight thanking Britain's National Health Service since his recovery.
"I would like to thank the NHS for their help and care,'' Mr Walsh said.
"Whilst I have fully recovered, my thoughts are with others who have contracted coronavirus.''
Five Britons who stayed with Walsh at a chalet in the Alps have been diagnosed with the virus, including a nine-year-old boy.
Another man who stayed at the French ski resort was discovered infected after returning home on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
His case prompted French health authorities to test 61 other children and family members at the resort and temporarily close some schools there, but they all tested negative.
Walsh said as soon as he realised he had been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, he spoke to his doctor and public health authorities.
"I was advised to attend an isolated room at the hospital, despite showing no symptoms, and subsequently self-isolated at home as instructed," he said.
"When the diagnosis was confirmed, I was sent to an isolation unit in hospital, where I remain, and, as a precaution, my family was also asked to isolate themselves.''
The virus has infected more than 42,000 people globally and killed over 1,000, with the overwhelming majority of cases in China.
It is unclear exactly how it is transmitted, but experts think it is spread mostly by droplets when people cough or sneeze. Health officials warn it can take up to 14 days for those who have been exposed to show symptoms.
Most people have only mild symptoms such as a fever and runny nose. But some develop pneumonia. Those who have fallen severely ill have been mostly over 60 with other health problems.
Walsh flew to Singapore for a January 20-22 event sponsored by his employer, Servomex. The company, based in the town of Crowborough, 56km south of London, makes industrial sensors sold around the world.
In a statement, Servomex said it was working with public health authorities "to ensure the welfare of our staff and communities and wish anyone with the virus a quick and full recovery."
The hunt for potential victims
Health authorities in at least three countries have made significant efforts to reach people who may have been infected by Mr Walsh.
The Grand Hyatt Singapore, a five-star hotel with 677 guest rooms, said Singapore's Ministry of Health informed it that three people who attended the conference experienced symptoms after returning to their home countries of Malaysia and South Korea and have now been diagnosed with the virus.
The hotel said 94 foreigners stayed at the Grand Hyatt at the same time as the Servomex conference, including people from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the outbreak. The hotel said it is now deep-cleaning guest rooms, meeting spaces, restaurants, the fitness centre and other public areas.
One of the people infected was Mr Walsh, who flew on to France before he started to display any symptoms. He reportedly joined his family for four days at a ski resort in the Mont Blanc region.
Five Britons who stayed with him have been diagnosed with the virus, including a nine-year-old boy. Another man who stayed at the resort was discovered infected after returning to his home on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
Mr Walsh flew back to Britain on January 28 on an EasyJet flight from Geneva to London's Gatwick Airport. The airline did not disclose how many people were aboard but said England's public health agency is contacting all passengers who were seated near the man.
Once back in Britain, Mr Walsh visited The Grenadier pub in Hove, which said it was told by the public health agency that there was "minimal ongoing risk of infection" to guests or staff.
Yesterday it was confirmed that a further four people in the UK – three men and a woman in Brighton – had tested positive for coronavirus, reports the Guardian.
The UK chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said all were "known contacts of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France".https://twitter.com/DHSCgovuk/status/1226804733450620928?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
A school in the community, Portslade Community Academy, said that one its students has been told to "self isolate,'' the local Brighton Argus newspaper reported.
"It does appear that the index case has passed on the infection to an unusually large number of contacts,'' said Dr. Andrew Freedman, an expert on infectious diseases at Cardiff University in the UK.
"As such, he could be termed a 'super-spreader.'''
The virus has infected more than 40,000 people globally and killed over 900, with the overwhelming majority of cases in China.
The case shows how the ease of international travel is complicating efforts to track and contain the new coronavirus that emerged in China.
It is unclear exactly how it is transmitted, but experts think it is spread mostly by droplets when people cough or sneeze.
Health officials warn that it can take up to 14 days for those who have been exposed to show symptoms.
Most people have only mild symptoms such as a fever and runny nose. But some develop pneumonia. Those who fallen severely ill have been mostly over 60 with other health problems.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-super-spreader-uk-business-man-infection-alert/acdccb38-e42a-41ad-af5a-ac4d0e4467c1