|[Published: Monday February 10 2020]
UK coronavirus doubles
LONDON 10 Feb (ANA) - The number of people infected by the coronavirus in the UK has doubled to eight - after four more patients tested positive for the virus.
It comes as the government issued new powers in England to keep people in quarantine to stop the virus spreading.
In order to do this the Department of Health has described the coronavirus as a "serious and imminent threat" to public health.
The overall risk level to the UK remains "moderate".
There have been more than 40,000 cases of the virus globally, mostly in China. The total number of deaths in China is now 908.
The new cases are all linked to a British man who caught the virus at a conference in Singapore and travelled to a ski resort in France. He was diagnosed in Brighton, and is being treated at St Thomas' Hospital in London.
He is also linked to the fourth UK patient, who was exposed to the virus in France, while five British nationals tested positive in France following his trip to the ski resort.
Chief medical officer for England Prof Chris Whitty said the new cases have been transferred to specialist NHS centres at Guys' and St Thomas' and the Royal Free hospitals in London.
A University of York student and their relative, still being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectious diseases centre in Newcastle, have not been connected to the cluster of UK cases.
This looks a lot like a "super-spreading" event. It is likely another British national diagnosed in Majorca is also connected to the Brighton man.
This is not unusual in outbreaks.
We know that people pass this novel coronavirus on to an average of two-to-three people, but some will pass it on to nobody and others will pass it on to far more.
In Mers-coronavirus, a super-spreading event led to 82 people being infected.
History has demonised the super-spreader. Irish cook Mary Mallon (1869-1938) is remembered as "Typhoid Mary" after unknowingly passing on the disease when she had no symptoms. She spent decades in exile and forced quarantine.
But in reality it's not the patient's fault.
Having no symptoms, making unusually large amounts of virus or mixing with lots of people can all lead to super-spreading.(ANA)
FA/ANA/10 February 2020----------