A German man who tested positive for the strain of coronavirus sweeping China was infected by a work colleague, officials have said, in what is believed to be the first human transmission in Europe.
The man had not visited China but a Chinese work colleague who was in Germany last week had started to feel sick on the flight home on 23rd January, said Andreas Zapf, the head of the Bavarian state office for health and food safety.
He had attended a training session given by his Chinese colleague on 21 January at the office of a car parts supplier, Webasto, in Stockdorf, Bavaria, and tested positive for the virus on Monday evening.
Unlike the other patients, the 33-year-old had not recently traveled to China. He remains in hospital in an isolation ward, but Zapf said he “was doing well”.
The Chinese woman immediately sought medical attention on her return to China and was confirmed to have caught the virus, which has spread rapidly in recent weeks after first emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
She had recently returned from visiting her parents in the Wuhan region, Zapf said.
In a statement, Webasto said it had halted all business travel to and from China “for at least the next two weeks”.
Health officials were also checking 40 people with whom the two infected workers may have been in contact, including colleagues and family members.
The virus has so far killed 106 people and infected more than 4,000 – the majority of them in and around Wuhan.
Cases have also been reported in a string of other countries, including the US, France, Australia, and Japan.
Source: The Guardian