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"Patient zero" in Guangzhou transmission chain still missing
Published on: 2021-06-10
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Positive COVID-19 cases reported in South China's Guangzhou have been traced to one transmission chain, but patient zero has yet to be found 20 days after the first case was reported, a health official said on Tuesday.
 

Since May 21, Guangzhou, capital city of South China's Guangdong Province, has recorded a total of 98 confirmed cases, most of whom are patients with mild symptoms, as well as 10 asymptomatic cases.
 

The genetic sequencing of positive cases discovered in Guangzhou show at least 98 percent similarity, indicating that all positive cases are in the same transmission chain.
 

New cases are likely to emerge in the future but will be in restricted zones. The risk of spreading the virus to other zones is low, more investigation is needed to identify patient zero.
 

广州所有阳性病例基因测序相似度超98%,零号病人仍在溯源

5月21日,一位从未离开过广州、且没有境外接触、非重点人群的郭女士,却感染了印度发现的德尔塔毒株。为了阻断德尔塔的进一步传播,广州市经展开了对1867万常住人口的核酸检测。
 

这轮疫情感染者基因测序高度同源,均为印度发现的变异株。6月8日晚,广州市卫健委疾控处副处长李铁钢表示,目前广州所有阳性病例基因测序相似度都达到了98%以上,也就是说,所有阳性病例的传播链都在一条上。
 

至今已过半月余,广州的传播链尚未在源头切断,甚至于这个源头在何处,仍是未知数。唯一可以确定的是:输入性疫情。
 

到底是谁把在印度发现的新冠病毒变异毒株带来了广州?是入境人士把病毒暴露给郭女士?还是接触进口货物的人群感染了病毒,再暴露给郭女士?
 

一位流行性病学专家分析称,首发病例在荔湾区,荔湾区并没有进口货物的港口和集散地,而且首发病例并非与进口物品相关联的人,也就是说,首例病例郭某并非零号病人,而她暴露的途径可能依然存在两个:被病毒污染的环境,以及感染了病毒的人。排查其环境样本相对容易,但是排查一个偶然与之接触的携带病毒的人,难度会很大。
 

“对于广州的零号病人,我是这样看的,有些东西是可以发现的,有些东西是发现不了的,科学都是这样,不是所有的谜底都能解开,也许用我们现在的这种手段是查不到的。关键是我们需要汲取经验和教训,如何能尽早发现病人。”曾光表示。
 

在经过大规模核酸检测后,广州疫情或将很快看到尽头。不过,从广州此轮本土疫情可以看出,常态化下的防控重点依然是进口货物和入境人员的管理。即便在接种疫苗的情况下,加强这个群体的管理仍将是未来防控的重点。

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