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Thu Mar 26, 2020, 01:04 PM

UK patient zero? East Sussex family may have been infected with coronavirus as early as mid-January

If confirmed, it would mean outbreak in Britain started more than a month earlier than is currently thought

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/uk-patient-zero-east-sussex-family-may-have-infected-coronavirus/

A family from East Sussex may have been Britain’s first coronavirus victims, catching the virus in mid-January after one of them visited an Austrian ski resort that is now under investigation for allegedly covering up the early outbreak. If confirmed by official tests, it would mean the outbreak in Britain started more than a month earlier than currently thought. As things stand, the first recorded UK case was on January 31, and the earliest documented incidence of transmission within Britain occurred on February 28.

IT consultant Daren Bland, 50, was skiing in Ischgl, Austria from January 15 to 19 with three friends, two from Denmark and one from Minnesota in America. All three fell ill on their return with classic coronavirus symptoms, and Mr Bland passed on the infection to his wife and children in Maresfield, East Sussex. A virus caused a dry cough then spread rapidly through the area in the weeks running up to the February half-term, with many local children taking time off school with illness.

On Tuesday, Austrian prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into allegations that a suspected infection in the resort of Ischgl was covered up, allowing Covid-19 to spread across Europe undetected. Hundreds of infections in Germany, Iceland, Norway and Denmark have been traced back to the resort, in the Tyrolean Alps, by European investigators, but Mr Bland and his family are the first in the UK known to be associated with it.

Like many of the European victims, Mr Bland visited the Kitzloch bar, known for its après-ski parties. The bar is tightly packed and known for "beer pong" – a drinking game in which revellers take turns to spit the same ping-pong ball into a beer glass. "We visited the Kitzloch and it was rammed, with people singing and dancing on the tables," Mr Bland recalled on Wednesday. "People were hot and sweaty from skiing, and waiters were delivering shots to tables in their hundreds. You couldn't have a better home for a virus."

The Telegraph has obtained an exclusive video shot inside the Kitzloch bar, which clearly shows conditions inside the venue.




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Reply UK patient zero? East Sussex family may have been infected with coronavirus as early as mid-January (Original post)
Celerity Mar 2020 OP
Cracklin Charlie Mar 2020 #1
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2020 #2

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2020, 01:08 PM

1. Minnesota, huh?

Edit to add: hope their families are okay.

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Response to Cracklin Charlie (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 26, 2020, 05:07 PM

2. Interestingly, Minnesota has by far the lowest ratio of active cases to total of any state

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

210/346, or 61%; everywhere else is up in the 90 percents, even Washington which was the first apparent hotspot.

Minnesota's early case numbers bear a remarkable similarity to the Fibonacci sequence, until 16th March:

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/situation.html



I wonder if that, combined, shows many of their cases were earlier than realised, and the testing was catching up with the situation.

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