BOSTON (CBS) — A new study suggests Boston’s Biogen conference could be connected to between 205,000 and 300,000 coronavirus cases as of November 1. The article was posted in Science Magazine on Thursday.
Researchers said the two-day event held at the Marriott Long Wharf in February had repercussions felt around the world. Cases could be traced as far away as Australia, Slovakia, and Sweden.
“It’s very easy for a virus to make its way around the world, particularly a virus like this where the transmission can occur before symptoms occur,” said Professor Matt Fox of the Boston University School of Public Health. “Its incredibly difficult to get people to change their behavior, particularly large-scale changes in behavior when people don’t yet see the threat that is coming.”
The study estimates the conference is responsible for about 1.6% of all coronavirus cases in the United States.
“This is exactly why this virus is so formidable, in terms of an opponent. It can spread up to two days before someone has symptoms and it was difficult, we were way behind in developing tests.”
While Massachusetts accounted for the most cases from the conference earlier on, Florida now has the greatest proportion of cases, it added.