By: KIM VUGA & BIANCA BARDEN
March 15 2020
While the world as we know it experiences the first significant worldwide pandemic since the Spanish Flu in 1918, the hunt in China is on for Patient Zero.
The term 'Patient Zero' is used to refer to the person identified as the first carrier of a communicable disease in an outbreak of related cases.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, speculation has been rife that the origin of the outbreak occurred in a marketplace in Wuhan, so much so it's almost been accepted as fact. The origin of CoVID-19 is now accepted as coming from a bat or pangolin.
But what if that isn't the case. What if the outbreak stemmed back further than the 31st December, when China notified the World Health Organisation that they had a cluster of patients with flu-like symptoms with significant cases resulting in death?
From our very own research there are two specific cases that should be looked into, given what is now known about CoVID-19.
The first possible Patient Zero originated as far back in July 30, 2019, with a patient by the name of Kevin Little.
Mr Little was a British teacher who taught English in China in Shanghai, a neighbouring province to Hubei and only as far as between Brisbane to Sydney in distance. Mr Little died the day after his 39th birthday, found in his home in Nantong, near Shanghai. His family think it’s his death may be linked to his epilepsy, but even that remains uncertain, as the UK Embassy in Shanghai is telling the family one thing, while the British Foreign Office is giving differing information.
Chinese authorities have said there were no suspicious circumstances.
The second possible, and perhaps more likely, Patient Zero is Christopher Duffield. Mr Duffield was discovered in his apartment in Chongqing on Friday 13th September.
The cause of his death is officially unknown but is not being treated as suspicious.
Like Mr Little, Mr Duffield was also an English Teacher. The 27-year old was admitted to hospital with flu-like condition the week before he died and had even posted a picture of himself from his hospital bed on social media with a caption saying, “Apparently every foreigner goes through this in their first year in China”.
It was initially thought that Christopher’s condition was improving. His death has come as a ‘complete shock’ to his family and friends. Friend Hilary Nisbet, 26, who met Christopher while both were studying at Cardiff University added,
“It was an awful shock, everyone was really surprised. On Facebook he had posted a picture of himself in hospital and he was smiling and joking.’
Hilary added, ‘Everybody was under the impression he was doing okay and he told his family he was feeling better the day before he died.’
According to a Go Fund Me page set up to raise money to bring Mr Duffield home to the UK, an autopsy, cremation and funeral were all performed in China, with his ashes returned to the UK mid-October. It's important to remember that once again that it was the Chinese government that handled the autopsy and cremation, which then presents the question was Mr Duffield the first original case of CoVID-19?
Aside from the fact that Mr Little died an unexplained death, but not in suspicious circumstances and that Mr Duffield died of flu-like symptoms which appeared to improve, even after being discharged from hospital, before suddenly dying (a similar pattern emerged with patients that died from CoVid-19 in Wuhan), the other interesting oddity is the geography of both men to Wuhan.
Mr Duffield lived in Chonqqing and Mr Little lived in Shanghai, both 1600km apart from each other. However, smack-bang, almost directly in the centre of those two cities, is Wuhan in the Province of Hubei.
The reason it’s so important to identify and locate Patient Zero, technically referred to as an “index case,” is because Patient Zero is the first documented human infected by a disease of any outbreak and the ability to find the origin case in an outbreak can help researchers determine when and how it started.
China has always been a country that has been shrouded in secrecy, with a government that controls the media both inside and outside of China. Any information that stems from China should always been taken with a grain of salt for its truthfulness.
Finding Patient Zero will tell the ultimate tale of whether China covered up the virus for longer than what they told the world, and whether the number of overall victims and deaths reported by China were fabricated.
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