By Elizabeth Sundlof •
Published: 24 Feb 2020 • 11:22
Although Catalunia still has relatively fewer cases in total than Madrid, the acceleration of new cases is worrying.
The head of the department of infectious diseases at the Sacco hospital in Milan Italy, Massimo Galli, believes that the rapid outbreak of the Coronavirus in Italy was caused by a medical error: the first patient was not correctly diagnosed and started to spread the disease in the hospital.
“We have the worst possible scenario,” he said to an Italian newspaper, “the start of the epidemic in a hospital, like what happened with the Sars outbreak in Seul in 2015. Unfortunately, a hospital can become a terrifying place.”
Even if patient zero is still unknown, he believes that the outbreak started at the Codogno hospital, by a wrongly diagnosed patient.
“Infections spread more easily in small spaces, where people are relatively close to each other, less than two meters apart.” Galli continues. A patient is believed to have come to the hospital with the first symptoms on February 18, was misdiagnosed and not hospitalized, and came in contact with the staff and the patients in the waiting room. The second victim believes to have contracted the virus in the waiting room at the Codogno hospital.
Galli believes that patient zero may have arrived in Italy in an incubation phase of the disease, with no or very mild symptoms, which allowed him to lead his life in a more or less normal way. He can have infected several people without knowing it.
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