Connecticut birthday bash of 50 dubbed 'Party Zero' after half of them get coronavirus, spread it across US, abroad
A 40th birthday party in Connecticut reportedly became "Party Zero" and spread the coronavirus across the US and abroad, as the state reported a spike of 200 cases in less than 24 hours.
On March 5, about 50 high-profile guests gathered at a home in the coveted suburb of Westport for a luxurious buffet and celebration. Following the lavish soiree, around half of those who attended became infected with the novel coronavirus and transmitted it to other states and, by extension, the rest of the world.
Governor Ned Lamont announced on March 24 that Connecticut had reported more than 200 new confirmed cases of the deadly novel coronavirus in the previous 24 hours.
As of now, the state has reported 618 infections so far with 71 patients in hospital and 12 fatalities.
Lamont criticized President Trump during the press conference saying it was wrong for him to allegedly suggest the lockdowns imposed could be lifted in a matter of weeks. "You're not going to get your economy back on its feet until we solve this public health crisis in a serious way," he said. "So I don't want to mislead people that, 'Hey it's just going to be a couple weeks and then you can get back to business as usual.' That's a mistake I think. The federal government has been sending the wrong message for too long."
The shocking rise in the number of cases came after the so-called Party Zero, where guests became infected before the first recorded case in the state. The guests reportedly left on March 5 for various destinations, including Johannesburg, New York City, other parts of Connecticut and the US, reported The New York Times.
One of them was a 43-year-old South African businessman who started to feel ill during his flight back home and was diagnosed with the virus shortly after. He then sought medical advice and got in touch with others who attended the party.
However, it was difficult to trace the other guests as they had traveled far and wide across the globe already.
Another guest in Westport woke up with severe chest pains three days after the party. She later recalled she had a fever that spiked to 104 degrees and that she "felt like she was dying."
"My journey started on March 8. Three days after I attended an event with amazing friends," Julie Endich wrote on Facebook in a lengthy post recounting her experience. "I woke up that morning, 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. It hit me fast. It felt like the flu x 2!!! I couldn't move, I was bedridden and my fevers were spiking to 104," she recalled. According to her, she got test results confirming she had coronavirus only four days later.
Connecticut did not have a single recorded case on the day of the soiree. Today, the state has reported 12 deaths and more than 400 infections.