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Why WA has ‘dodged a bullet’ amid patient 903 mystery

Gareth Parker
Article image for Why WA has ‘dodged a bullet’ amid patient 903 mystery

A leading Epidemiologist says the hotel quarantine security guard at the centre of Perth’s lockdown – dubbed patient 903, might not be a “super spreader” of the coronavirus.

There have been no new locally transmitted cases of the virus in WA since the state government enforced a five day lock down on Sunday, when it was revealed the worker had been in the community potentially infectious.

University of South Australia Epidemiologist Adrian Esterman told 6PR’s Gareth Parker only a very small group of people are “super spreaders”, and there’s no clear explanation why that’s the case.

“Between 10 and 20 per cent of all infected people infect 80 per cent of other people,” he said.

“It could be that he is one of the 80 per cent of people who get infected but are not very infectious.”

The former World Health Organisation Epidemiologist says WA has “dodged a bullet” because the highly contagious strain has devastated the UK.

“It’s very difficult to stop, once the UK variant takes hold,” Professor Esterman said.

“If it takes hold in Australia we are in deep trouble … we have got to do everything we can to keep it out of Australia.

“Yes the lockdown is not very nice for people, it’s not very nice for businesses, but you will survive, businesses will recover.”

Click play to hear the full interview.

Gareth Parker
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