A laundromat may have infected about a dozen other people with Covid-19 after contracting the virus from contaminated clothing, Chinese scientists believe.
Wu Zunyou, an epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is investigating the case of a laundromat in Shulan City, northeast China’s Jilin Province, according to local media.
The 45-year-old woman is said to have had close contact with Russian visitors between April 8 and 30.
It is believed that the woman reported the virus to her husband, three sisters and other family members and contacts of those confirmed cases, according to reports.
Studies have shown that the concentration of the virus in locker rooms can be very high.
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Experts from the National Health Commission and China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention are reportedly trying to pinpoint the source of the infection, which affected a cluster of 13 people in total.
Wu Zunyou said that the laundry worker may not be the source of the infection and that a thorough epidemiological investigation and biological analysis is needed to get to the bottom of the matter.
He added that the woman may have been infected by another carrier whose incubation period was longer or asymptomatic.
However, Wu explained that incidental cluster cases are to be expected: “As long as the cases are found, investigated and monitored quickly, the epidemic can be quickly eradicated and there should be no outbreak.”
He also called on the public to continue to take security measures, especially in confined spaces.
According to local media, the study has so far traced 2,005 people and 290 close contacts have been placed in self-isolation.
Although the virus is believed to come from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the country now has a very low infection rate, according to official government statistics.
Only four people in China tested positive for the disease yesterday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 82,933.
In all, 4,633 died of Covid-19 in the country.