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World What is a coronavirus 'super spreader' and what is the risk of becoming one

07:01  14 february  2020
07:01  14 february  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

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What are super - spreaders ? Not everybody is equal when it comes to the transmission of infectious diseases. In fact, it has been established for at The government says the measures, including powers to detain people in quarantine or in isolation, are in line with other countries and the risk to the UK

A British businessman is being labeled a " super spreader " of COVID-19, the virus formerly known as coronavirus . There are a variety of factors, both Here's what epidemiologists want the public to know about super spreaders , plus the best strategies you can use to protect yourself from viruses

Health authorities have no way of knowing where another coronavirus "super spreader" may emerge as they battle to restrict the virus' movement around the globe.

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: British businessman Steve Walsh is the world's first-known 'super spreader' of the Chinese coronavirus after transmitting it to at least 11 others. © Supplied British businessman Steve Walsh is the world's first-known 'super spreader' of the Chinese coronavirus after transmitting it to at least 11 others. It is not known what individual characteristics might have contributed to British man Steve Walsh becoming the first known super spreader of the virus, having been revealed this week after he infected at least 11 people while authorities in three countries continue to hunt other victims.

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Virus expert Professor Angus Dalgleish tells Sun Online about the threat of coronavirus becoming a major epidemic and explains what a ' super spreader ' is.

It comes as the Telegraph has learned that a quarantined British patient threatening to abscond from coronavirus facilities has forced the Health Secretary to tighten Expert warns of ' super - spreader ' risk in coronavirus outbreak - Продолжительность: 2:59 The Sun 1 980 просмотров.

"What it means is that some infected individuals may turn out to transmit infections to substantially more people than the average," Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology from the University of Edinburgh, told 9News.com.au.

Pictures: Coronoavirus (COVID 19) outbreak

"It is a combination of circumstances to do with the individual, to do with the people the individual's in contact with, to do with travel history, (and) to do with the virus that's led to this particular event."

Mr Walsh is a middle-aged British businessman who flew to Singapore for an event last month, before heading to a ski resort in France and then finally returning to London where he was eventually diagnosed and isolated in hospital.

Apart from his broad travel after he became infected, he has no defined personal traits that could potentially help identify another super spreader of the virus.

a person standing in front of a computer: Health authorities are not yet able to pinpoint characteristics of a person that could lead to them becoming a virus 'super spreader. © AP Health authorities are not yet able to pinpoint characteristics of a person that could lead to them becoming a virus 'super spreader.

But Prof Woolhouse said there was a likelihood the circumstances that led to Mr Walsh's case would occur again, with the epidemic already infecting 60,000 people in more than two dozen countries, causing at least 1357 deaths.

"Will there be other events where a single case passes on to more than the average other cases? That is possible and it is something that (authorities) should be alert to," Prof Woolhouse said.

"Yes it would be nice to know what characteristics are associated with a super spreading event, including any characteristics of the patient, but with a sample size of one (being Mr Walsh) we can't possibly know that."

Airport screenings in countries across the globe are continuing in an attempt to identify and isolate potential new cases. © AP Airport screenings in countries across the globe are continuing in an attempt to identify and isolate potential new cases.

He said there were two basic situations that could lead to a person being a super spreader of infections like the coronavirus: if they were naturally highly infectious, or if they were in close contact with many people in many places during an infection period.

Sympathy but concern

In the UK town of Hove, where Mr Walsh is from and visited a local pub after returning from his travels, local residents were shocked to hear the virus had reached them.

"At first, I was slightly panicked and there was a lot of scare-mongering going on," Leanne, owner of the BeauChic Beauty salon in Hove, told 9News.com.au.

"When you actually look at the facts - and I do make sure I check every day what's going on - it's just about being hygienic.

"It's not great that it is in Hove but it is what it is and I think so long as people are just clever with how they look after themselves and keep hygienic then hopefully it won't spread."

The mother-of-five also said she's sympathetic for Mr Walsh, but acknowledged she plans to avoid visiting the pub for a period of time after its staff were put into isolation.

"I feel really sorry for the guy because he didn't have a clue that he had it and everything he had done was completely right - He phoned up 111 and took all the advice... He was really responsible with his actions," she said.

The concern comes as a woman, who is the first confirmed case of coronavirus in London, was revealed to have self-presented at a hospital after taking an Uber to the facility's Accident & Emergency (A&E) ward.

That was against the current warnings of authorities for potential coronavirus patients to self-isolate if they believe they are presenting symptoms and then organise an adequate method of meeting with hospital staff in order to avoid putting more people at risk.

a person sitting in a bag: Authorities in heavily-protective gear have been on-call in countries where infected patients have arrived and transported directly to hospital isolation. © AP Authorities in heavily-protective gear have been on-call in countries where infected patients have arrived and transported directly to hospital isolation.

To date, health authorities are unsure as to exactly how Covid-19 is transmitted, but think it is spread mostly by droplets when people cough or sneeze and can take up to 14 days for those who have been exposed to show symptoms.

Suffers of the new coronavirus strain are expected to pass it on to between two and three other people, dramatically less than Mr Walsh's spread to 11 people.

Despite still many unknowns about the novel coronavirus, authorities need to continue treating patients as they have been – whether there is a suspected super spread event or not, Prof Woolhouse said.

A new strain of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in China and there are fears it could spread around the world. Here's what you need to know. A new strain of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in China and there are fears it could spread around the world. Here's what you need to know.

"It doesn't actually change anything… It does underline the importance of trying to detect cases early, isolating them early," he said.

"As we've seen from this particular event that if we miss anybody, there's the potential for a super spreader event to occur."

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Call 1800 020 080 if you are seeking information on novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates Monday–Friday from 8am to 8pm, Saturdays from 8am to 5pm, and Sundays from 9am to 5pm.

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