Researchers believe she was "an asymptomatic carrier."
A woman in China reportedly infected an estimated number of 71 individuals with coronavirus after one elevator trip. Reports tell us that the unnamed woman has returned to the province of Heilongjiang from her travel to the United States last March 19.
Upon her return, she did not exhibit any symptoms and even tested negative of the virus. Despite that, she was still asked to self-quarantine at her home.
There have been zero COVID-19 cases in the region since March 11 but that eventually changed because of the female traveler. Although she did not have direct contacts, taking the elevator in her apartment block eventually ended up spreading the virus.
Her downstairs neighbor’s mother and her boyfriend paid a visit and attended a party on March 29. On April 4, one of them had a stroke and was rushed to a medical facility. At this point, no one still suspected about the person contracting the virus since there were no contacts with the traveler and so he wasn’t given a COVID-19 test.
Researchers eventually made the conclusion that the woman may have spread the virus in the area after using the building elevator which led to the mother an mother’s boyfriend catching the disease and then passing it to the stroke patient and two of his sons during the party.
The man’s two sons alternately took care of their sick father who was later transferred to another hospital on April 6. All three of them eventually tested positive of the virus and researchers found out they have infected 28 individuals – including a doctor and 5 nurses – in the first hospital. Unfortunately, things didn’t end there as 20 more caught the virus from them in the next hospital.
Also, the boyfriend of the downstairs neighbor’s mother likewise exhibited symptoms of the virus and was the first confirmed case in the place.
An investigation was launched and they tested the female traveler, only to find out this time that she has antibodies, meaning she had earlier acquired the disease.
The Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later declared:
“We believe [the traveler] was an asymptomatic carrier and that [the downstairs neighbor] was infected by contact with surfaces in the elevator in the building where they both lived.
“Our results illustrate how a single asymptomatic Sars-CoV-2 infection could result in widespread community transmission.”
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