Biogen employee investigated for traveling to China with coronavirus

March 17, 2020

Over 100 cases of the novel coronavirus have now been linked to a meeting Biogen held in Boston late last month. Now, Chinese authorities are reportedly investigating a Biogen employee who attended the meeting and later flew to China while suffering from coronavirus symptoms. 

The 37-year-old woman, who is currently only being referred to by her surname Li, reportedly came down with coronavirus symptoms in early March while in the U.S. and went to a doctor in Massachusetts who prescribed Tamiflu. Chinese health officials say that in the following days, Li received three chest scans but, for reasons that were not made clear, she was also denied a coronavirus test three times. 

On March 12, Li then boarded an Air China flight from Los Angeles to Beijing. Chinese officials say that Li reported to flight attendants that she wasn’t feeling well so that she could be seated in a quarantined section of the plane, but then lied about the fact that she was traveling with her husband and child, and lied about medication she had taken. After arriving in China, a test confirmed that Li was infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19). Because Li exposed 59 other people on the plane to a potential infection, she could now face criminal charges.

Li is currently being treated at a hospital in Beijing.