Woman suspected of infecting granddaughter with coronavirus within 5 minutes

CECC investigating how country’s 24th case apparently infected relative

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Disinfecting a bus 

Disinfecting a bus  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday (Feb. 22) it was investigating how the country’s 24th case, a middle-aged woman, apparently infected her granddaughter with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) even though the two relatives only spent five minutes together.

A 60-year-old woman from north Taiwan who had not traveled overseas for two years was announced Thursday (Feb. 20) as Taiwan’s 24th coronavirus patient. The next day, her daughter and granddaughter were announced as the 25th and 26th cases.

While the daughter reportedly lived with the woman to begin with, the granddaughter only visited her in the hospital for five minutes on Feb. 11. It was soon after this that she was diagnosed with the Wuhan virus.

The CECC ordered tests for 134 of the hospital's medical staff. They all tested negative for the virus, so a community outbreak could be ruled out, CNA reported.

In order to continue the search for the source of the infection, the CECC expanded the tests to include 465 people who had been in contact with the virus patients.

Several factors might contribute to an infection, officials said, including the degree of proximity, duration of the interaction, whether or not both sides were wearing a mask, the presence of other medical conditions, and the environment. At present, many theories for infection spread have been put forward, but few have been proven, health experts said.