German auto supplier Webasto disputes media reports linking it to Italy’s fast-growing coronavirus outbreak that is blamed for more than 360 deaths in the country.
In January the roof-systems maker was hit with an outbreak that infected 16 employees but was contained. Webasto’s efforts had been held up as an example of how to stop the virus through rapid testing and isolation.
Virologists at the Luigi Sacco University Hospital in Milan, however, have tested the sequences of the virus in Italy. They closely match those from the Webasto outbreak, Massimo Galli, head of infectious diseases at the hospital, told the Washington Post.
“That virus probably spread more than recognized,” Galli said of the cluster in Bavaria.
He explained to the Post that a person infected with the virus then probably traveled from Germany to Lombardy, the region of Italy hit hardest by the virus, in late January, and it spread undetected in the community for at least two or three weeks.