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Coronavirus: suspected ‘zero patient’ in UK fears he brought deadly vacation virus

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A British father suspected of being the first victim of coronavirus in the United Kingdom fears having brought the virus home after a ski trip in the Alps.

Daren Bland of Maresfield, East Sussex caught COVID-19 in mid-January, which means that the virus may have arrived in the UK a month earlier than expected.

The Austrian ski resort where he stayed, is under investigation for allegedly covering the epidemic.

It is currently believed that the first transmission of coronavirus in Britain took place on February 28 and the first recorded case was on January 31.

But Mr. Bland, 50, had made a four-day trip to the Ischgl complex from January 15 before displaying the symptoms of Covid-19 and transmitting the disease to his wife Sarah and their children in her Maresfield’s house.



Daren Bland, wife Sarah and two daughters to be first in UK to get coronavirus

This could mean that the virus was introduced to Britain much earlier than expected.

Two friends from Denmark and Minnesota, in the United States, with whom the IT consultant was skiing, also fell ill with the same tell-tale symptoms.

In the weeks leading up to the semester of February, many people in Mr. Bland’s area were hit, and children took school holidays.

It is feared that the infection could have spread across Europe without being detected for weeks, probably due to an alleged concealment by the Austrian ski resort.

As a result, prosecutors opened a criminal investigation this week with hundreds of cases in surrounding countries dating back to the Tyrolean Alps.


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During his trip, Mr. Bland had visited the Kitzloch bar – known for its busy evenings and his beer pong – as well as numerous victims during their stay at the complex.

“We visited the Kitzloch and it was hit, with people singing and dancing on the tables,” the British father told the Telegraph.

“People were hot and sweaty from skiing and the waiters were shooting hundreds. You couldn’t have a better home for a virus. “

Mr. Bland fell ill on January 20, the day after he returned home, and said that he felt like he was “wading through molasses” for 10 days.

Bland, 49, said she and her two daughters fell ill with symptoms such as “strange hot flashes”, as well as exhaustion and “total brain fog” for three weeks.

Her youngest daughter also had a persistent cough and high temperature, which prevented her from attending school for two weeks, although her other daughter recovered after a day.

The Blands have not been officially confirmed as having contracted the infection, but have become suspect after cases heard across Europe have been traced back to the complex.

While one of Mr. Bland’s ski buddies, a Danish man in his 50s, was hit more severely by the virus, which became more seriously ill.

Meanwhile, Mark Woolhouse, professor of epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh, believes the Bland family demonstrates the need for generalized antibody tests to show who has been exposed to the virus and help track its spread. .

The Kitzloch Bar closed on March 10 and the complex closed three days later.

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