More Biogen Conference Attendees Have Coronavirus

Editor's note: Since this story was originally published, health officials in Massachusetts and Indiana have traced more cases of coronavirus back to the Biogen conference. That includes 15 Massachusetts cases announced Sunday and another three announced Saturday. In Indiana, officials said two residents with coronavirus attended the Boston meeting.

Five Massachusetts employees and three out-of-state workers who attended a Biogen conference in Massachusetts have tested positive for coronavirus, according to state public health officials. The workers took part in a conference that was attended by roughly 175 participants last week.

Other attendees tested positive for the flu, according to Biogen representative David Caouette. The company on Thursday had reported three cases, all involving out-of-state attendees. The Massachusetts cases were confirmed Friday, according to state officials.

The conference was held at the Longwharf Marriott in Boston.

Tennessee and Massachusetts health officials confirmed that the Tennessee man who recently flew from Boston to Nashville tested positive for the new coronavirus. The Tennessee Department of Health said in a statement that the patient is an adult from Williamson County, Tennessee.

Boston's Public Health Commission has joined the effort to gather more information about the case, including how long the man was in Massachusetts, where he traveled and whether transmission of the virus occurred in the state. In a statement, DPH said that the agency is working with the Boston Public Health Commission and Tennessee Department of Health to identify the patient’s close contacts.

The patient was on a round-trip, direct flight between Nashville International Airport and Logan Airport. He did not begin to feel any symptoms until shortly after returning home to Tennessee. He's experiencing mild symptoms and is isolated at home, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

Health officials have not said which flight the patient took or how long he stayed in Boston.

"The Boston Public Health Commission is actively working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massport, and the Tennessee Health Department, as well as our partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to gather all the information about the confirmed case, which remains ongoing," the agency said in a statement. "As this is a pertinent health matter, we will continue to share confirmed information and any other relevant facts as soon as they become available."

This article was originally published on March 05, 2020.


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Angus Chen Reporter, CommonHealth
Angus Chen was a reporter for WBUR's CommonHealth.


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Elisabeth Harrison Managing Editor For News Content
Elisabeth Harrison is WBUR’s managing editor for news content with a focus on business, health and science coverage.



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