Killer coronavirus could ALREADY be in Britain, experts warn – as they reveal up to TEN THOUSAND patients in Chinese city of Wuhan alone may be infected
- Experts say there may already be a case because UK screening ‘is not foolproof’
- Researchers have predicted up to 10,000 patients in Wuhan may have the virus
- Last week the same team estimated just 1,700 residents in the city had the virus
The killer Chinese coronavirus that is sweeping the world could already be in Britain, health experts have warned today.
Leading scientists admitted there may already be a mild case because screening in the UK ‘is not foolproof’.
In another worrying development to the outbreak, researchers have predicted up to 10,000 patients in Wuhan may already have the virus.
Imperial College London experts last week predicted just 1,700 residents in the city at the centre of the outbreak had the virus.
But the team has now upgraded their estimate, given how quickly the never-before-seen infection has spread around China and the world.
The US last night recorded its first case of the SARS-like virus which has killed nine people and sickened 456.
Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan have also recorded cases of the infection already. Officials have confirmed it spreads between humans.
An American man with the new coronavirus has been identified in Washington state, CDC officials said on Wednesday, bringing the total number of countries with cases of the deadly virus to five outside of China, including the US, Thailand, Japan South Korea and Taiwan
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said Public Health England is putting in place new precautions in relation to travellers to the UK from the region
Travellers from the area of China at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak will be separated from other passengers on arrival at Heathrow Airport as UK health chiefs step up their response
Professor Neil Ferguson, the Imperial researcher behind the worrying prediction, did say the UK was not a major travel destination for Wuhan residents.
London is connected to Wuhan – which is home to 11million people – by three direct flights to Heathrow each week.
And Professor Ferguson said ‘we can’t rule out the possibility’, when asked if there could already be a case in the UK.
Speaking at a press briefing by the Science Media Centre, he added: ‘Screening in the UK is not foolproof so there could be a mild case.’