Another Covid outbreak in Antarctica

Coronavirus, Infection, Research, Superspreader events, Transmission

You might have thought that visiting the pristine environment of Antarctica would require some of the strongest biosafety security measures for visitors on Earth, wouldn’t you?

Well, apparently not, it seems, because another outbreak of Covid has just been reported at a research station in Antarctica – the fourth outbreak that we are aware of on that continent since the pandemic began.

An outbreak of Covid at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica has disrupted life for researchers and support staffers at the southern end of the world. 

McMurdo Station had 73 total confirmed cases as of Thursday afternoon, according to a statement provided to NBC News by Amanda Hallberg Greenwell, a National Science Foundation spokesperson. The research station has a population of 885, the statement said, meaning more than 8% of those have tested positive for the coronavirus so far. 

ABCnews report

 

The three previous outbreaks that we are aware of were reported on in these posts:

January 2022: Covid outbreak at an Argentinian research station

January 2022: 16 research station workers infected with Covid at Belgian base

December 2020: Covid-19 reaches Antarctica – 36 people infected at Chilean base

 

UPDATE 1- 13th November 2022 – Wikipedia entry on COVID-19 in Antarctica

We have been alerted to a Wikipedia page that reports no less than SEVEN outbreaks of Covid-19 in Antarctica. A list of the various outbreaks is reprinted below, along with a link to the page itself.

Wikipedia: COVID-19 pandemic in Antarctica

 

 

Given the infectiousness of this virus at extremely low temperatures, perhaps we should be looking at polar bears, penguins and seals as a potential intermediate hosts?

 

Covid19 reaches Antarctica – 36 people infected

 

 

 

Photo by Cassie Matias on Unsplash