A British dad infected with coronavirus after a ski trip to Austria could be the first “super spreader” of the bug in the UK, according to a new report.
IT consultant Daren Bland, 50, of East Sussex, told The Sun he believes he caught the virus in the crowded Kitzloch bar, an après-ski spot, in Ischgl, Austria.
He was in the ski resort village from Jan 15 to 19 with one friend from Minnesota and two from Denmark, the outlet reported.
All three experienced classic COVID-19 symptoms when they returned home, and Bland passed on the illness to his wife and children, according to the report.
Bland told The Sun he was sick for 10 days and unable to work after being “knocked for six” and feeling “breathless.”
His wife, Sarah Bland, 49, told the outlet she experienced “a temperature and strange flushes, exhaustion which lasted for nearly three weeks intermittently and total brain fog.”
“My daughter had a temperature and persistent cough and was off school for two weeks,” she said. “My eldest daughter felt wiped out for a day but it passed quickly.”
But the family was never diagnosed with COVID-19, but are requesting a test so experts can “better understand” the spread of the deadly bug, according to the report.
If tests do confirm Bland had COVID-19, that would mean the UK’s outbreak began a month earlier than previously thought, according to the report.
The first recorded case of coronavirus in the UK was on Jan. 31, but the earliest case caught within the country wasn’t reported until Feb. 28, the outlet reported.
An investigation is now underway at the Kitzloch bar, as hundreds of people can trace their infections back to the hotspot, according to The Sun.
Investigators are probing whether the bar covered up the outbreak — contributing to the spread of the virus across Europe.
“We visited the Kitzloch and it was rammed, with people singing and dancing on the tables,” Bland told the outlet. “People were hot and sweaty from skiing and waiters were delivering shots to tables in their hundreds. You couldn’t have a better home for a virus.”
By Friday morning, 11,816 coronavirus cases had been reported in the UK and 7,317 in Austria.
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