Patient Zero

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Patient Zero

an individual identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the person who introduced the human immunodeficiency virus in the United States. According to CDC records, Patient Zero, an airline steward, infected nearly 50 other persons before he died of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in 1984.
(1) A controversial figure in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, Gaëtan Dugas was a French-Canadian airline steward, whose sexual activity linked him to 40 of the first 248 men diagnosed of what was then known as gay-related immune deficiency—GRID. Dugas died of terminal renal failure, and had 4 episodes of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia before he died. He was so named based on a transmission scenario compiled by Dr. Wm. Darrow et al of the CDC. Darrow subsequently repudiated his conclusion, but the name stuck
(2) Based on the original ‘Patient Zero’, the generic term, ’patient zero', has expanded into general usage for any first case or onset of a catastrophic trend
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