The journey of the patient Zero: study reveals how Corona came to Germany

It is the first known Corona were cases in Germany: a study by A team around Andreas Zapf of the University of Magdeburg and Christian Drosten of the University hospital Charité in Berlin has been traced, as the Virus from patient Zero in the so-called “Webasto-Cluster” in Bavaria has spread.

The history of the "Webasto-Cluster" begins with patient zero. It is a business travelers from Shanghai and arrives at 19. January to Gauting, near Munich, to three days of Workshops and Meetings.

To feel this time you feel pain in chest and back, as well as fatigue, this but on the jet lag. In fact, it is for their symptoms to a Covid-19 disease. She had put on herself, without knowing it, with their parents, originating from Wuhan, the origin of the Virus. Also, they had only non-specific symptoms, but were tested later positive for the Virus.

For a disease typical symptoms developed, the patient zero only after their journey home to Shanghai. With a cough and fever, she tested positive for the novel coronavirus. What happens then, is evident from the study that the magazine "The Lancet Infectious Diseases" now published. A Team led by Andreas Zapf of the University of Magdeburg and Christian Drosten of the University hospital Charité in Berlin has traced the chain of infection. The "Spiegel" has summarized the findings of the study.

The first German case

As the group Webasto on 27. January of of infection undergoes, he begins immediately to identify possible contact persons. A day later, then the first Corona-the case of Germany, confirmed: A 33-year-old man has been infected with patient zero.

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In total, it is four colleagues in Germany and a travelling colleagues. As the researchers Drosten found out, however, now had only two of the four in Germany, Infected by close contact with patient zero, namely the patient one and four.

Patient 1, sits at a Meeting in a twelve-foot-square room in addition to the Infected. In spite of the Narrowness of the space, however, two other employees who also participate in the Meeting will not be infected.

Patient four has multiple contact with the Chinese host and the Virus continue to spread despite lack of symptoms in the canteen of the automotive supplier. When eating Patient sits four back-to-back with the Patient five. Patient five turns, willl a salt shaker to borrow. The be enough, according to the report for an infection.

Patient five as one of the Main propagators

With Patient five, the longest infection chain of the cluster begins: Despite 1.5 meters distance, he is in a long Meeting, another employee, Patient seven, then two colleagues and a Person in his household infects. Patient is also infected, without that Patient five shows at all symptoms.

In addition, Patient five to put his family of five, after all, are isolated together in a room in the hospital. Two members of the family have become infected, apparently, with him, while a third member gets the Virus in one of these two Infected.

Risk in Isolation in a room

The researchers conclude that "the study, the high risk to close household contacts, the a room teilen" show, and that measures must be taken to avoid this mode of Transmission.

Confirming this Hypothesis, further Transfers of other contact persons of Patients who were not isolated together in a confined space. Of the 20 household contacts of the patients, only two were infected before the Infected were isolated. This corresponds to a Rate of ten percent, compared to the 75 per cent risk of infection in Patient five, and his family.

Patients two and three without contact to patient zero?

Patients two and three, in contrast to Patient one and Patient four no close personal contact with patient zero. However, could be identified through genetic analyses, that, at least, the Patient must have directly connected with patient zero.

Patient three infected on the other hand, probably the fact that he works for a short time with the already infected Patient to a Computer. Patient three is not plugged in at a private Meeting Patient twelve, however, his Partner or his partner.

A little later the Patient twelve to kick his planned holiday to Tenerife. However, he is isolated there, two days after his arrival. Both on his flight, as well as in the flight of the colleagues who travelled with patient zero, are, in retrospect, no new infections have known.

16 Diseased, 241 Contact Persons

Overall, cluster is in the Webasto-16 people, who are now recovered but all. While two people have developed signs of pneumonia was the disease and all the other mild. Reason for this is the young average age of the Patients, and they hardly had any serious pre-existing conditions are likely to be.

Andreas Zapf, Christian Drosten, and your Team does not pull out of the study important findings: firstly, that the Corona Test provides a reliable result because a patient was getestest despite symptoms twice negative.

On the other, it could be, according to you, the Problem is that the Virus was also widely used without, or with only mild or nonspecific symptoms of multiple more. Do you see the difficulty "the Virus in the long term, global einzudämmen".

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