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Coronavirus 'super spreader' in S. Korea raises concerns of more cases coming

All News 11:50 February 19, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) -- The spread of the new coronavirus in South Korea may be accelerating, with the country's probable first "super spreader" pointing to more cases coming.

The country's 31st coronavirus patient, who resides in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, is judged to have infected at least 11 others, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) on Wednesday.

A preliminary epidemiological investigation shows that the potential super spreader attended the same church service as 10 of the newly confirmed patients and had person-to-person contact with one person at a Daegu hospital.

The 61-year-old South Korean woman, confirmed to be infected with the virus on Tuesday, also visited Seoul late last month, and went about her everyday life, using public transportation among other things.

What constitutes a super spreader is not clearly defined, but people can be labeled such if they transmit the disease to more than 10 others.

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo (C) and other health officials listen to Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun via teleconference with Chung in Seoul as they take part in a meeting at the government complex in Sejong, central South Korea on Feb. 19, 2020, to discuss measures to deal with the spread of the new coronavirus in South Korea. (Yonhap)

Fifteen new virus cases were newly confirmed here early Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections here to 46, the KCDC said.

The public health agency earlier said is still unclear how the 31st patient contracted the virus as she not had contact with other confirmed patients or been abroad recently.

There have been several reports of "super spreaders" globally, including in Singapore and Britain, who are allegedly responsible for disproportionately infecting a large number of people with COVID-19.


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