Health Officials Search For Passengers On EasyJet Flight With Coronavirus Sufferer On Board
EasyJet has confirmed that one of its passengers has been diagnosed with the virus since travelling with them. Now staff at Public Health England are searching for those who were sitting in his vicinity.
The businessman is reported to have contracted the virus at a conference in Singapore. He later travelled to a chalet in France and is believed to have passed the virus on to five more British guests while there.
The middle-aged man was diagnosed in Brighton and was later transferred to the specialist infectious diseases unit at St Thomas' Hospital in London.
The EasyJet flight in question took off from Geneva and landed in London on January 28th.
The virus - which has claimed hundreds of lives in China - is now an "imminent" threat to the UK, the government has warned.
The total number of people injected by the virus in the UK has risen to eight.
According to the French health ministry, the five Brits who tested positive in France were diagnosed after they came into contact with the man at the Alpine resort area of Contamines-Montjoie near Mont Blanc.
Among affected are four adults and a nine-year-old child. It is understood that they are not in a serious condition.
A British man in Majorca is also reported to have tested positive for coronavirus after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus in France.
A spokesperson for the airline said: "EasyJet has been notified by the public health authority that a customer who had recently travelled on one of its flights has since been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
"Public Health England is contacting all passengers who were seated in the vicinity of the customer on flight EZS8481 from Geneva to London Gatwick on 28 January to provide guidance in line with procedures.
"As the customer was not experiencing any symptoms, the risk to others on board the flight is very low.
"We remain in contact with the public health authorities and are following their guidance.
"The health and well-being of our passengers and crew is the airline's highest priority.
"All of the crew who operated have been advised to monitor themselves for a 14-day period since the flight in line with Public Health England advice. Note this happened 12 days ago and none are displaying any symptoms."
To date, the virus has claimed 910 lives globally, with over 40,000 cases of infection.
New powers will allow the government to "forcibly quarantine" coronavirus victims.
A spokesperson for the NHS said: "Our infection control procedures are world leading and the NHS is well prepared to deal with novel coronavirus.
"We are strengthening our regulations so we can keep individuals in supported isolation for their own safety and if public health professionals consider they may be at risk of spreading the virus to other members of the public.
"This measure will rightly make it easier for health professionals to help keep people safe across the country."
The coronavirus can survive on door handles and bus or train poles for up to nine days - more than four times longer than flu, according to new research.
German scientists say it's much hardier than common bugs. Surfaces that are frequently touched are most likely to be harbouring the highly contagious disease - especially in hospitals or crowded Tube stations.
But the potentially deadly droplets can be destroyed within a minute simply through regular wiping with disinfectants such as Domestos.
Tests showed disinfectants and bleaches containing ethanol, hydrogen peroxide or sodium hypochlorite are most effective.
Featured Image Credit: Wikicommons