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Expert reaction to confirmed case of COVID-19 in London

Posted On: 13 Feb 2020   |   Posted By: Science Media Centre

There has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in London. The individual had recently travelled from China.
Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton, said:
“The extensive London public transport system provides potential opportunities for transmission, with many people mixing in relatively small spaces. However, the evidence related to ground transportation as a key factor in transmission of respiratory infectious disease is actually fairly limited. Whilst studies have linked some transmission of flu to use of public ground transport, it is not normally the main factor in the spread of an outbreak due to relatively short time periods of being in close proximity to an infected case. For example, studies suggest possible transmission on long-distance trains, but less so on shorter journeys such as on the London Underground. In terms of previously studied respiratory diseases such as flu, we have evidence that international travel is usually a more important factor for...

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