A 40th birthday party has been dubbed “Party Zero” after its 50 guests spread coronavirus across the world after the event.
More than half the people who attended the party now have the coronavirus and have spread the illness across the US and South Africa.
The party took place on March 5 in Westport in Connecticut in the US.
Westport is a town of 28,000 people and did not have a single known case of the coronavirus on the day of the party. By this Monday it had reported 80 cases of the deadly disease, up more than 40-fold in 11 days.
According to reports from the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, the guests left after the party, scattering throughout the United States and across the globe.
One of the guests, Julie Endich, wrote in a Facebook post that she woke up three days after the party with “incredible chest pain, tightness and heaviness like someone was standing on my chest.
“As the day went on I started to get body aches, chills, fever and headache,” Ms Endich wrote.
Ms Endich quickly reported to a doctor but waited four days to receive her positive test result.
The number of people infected from exposure to guests of the party is not known, but one attendee, a businessman, 43, flew home to South Africa, and became ill on his flight.
It’s believed he may have infected his fellow passengers.
Other guests who live in New York City, the epicentre of the coronavirus in the US, went on to attend large gatherings and workplaces after the party.
In the state of Connecticut a total of 415 people have been infected with COVID-19, with infections doubling “every three or four days”, according to the Governor of the state, Ned Lamont.
In the state, ten people have died.
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