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Aussie who died in Iceland had COVID, but that didn’t kill him

An Australian tourist infected with coronavirus has passed away in remote Iceland, but it is believed the man was not killed by COVID-19.

The unidentified Australian, thought to be around 40 years old, arrived seriously ill at a healthcare centre in Husavik, in northeast Iceland, but died shortly after arrival, Iceland’s National Broadcaster, RUV, reported.


Husavik, Iceland


Health authorities confirmed that the Aussie male tested positive to coronavirus, but that his symptoms were not typical of the virus. 


“While he was found to be infected with the coronavirus, it is unlikely to have been the cause of his death,” epidemiologist Porolfur Guonason said. 


“His symptoms came on very quickly and were not those usually associated with COVID-19 deaths.” 


The cause of the Australian’s death is now under investigation. 


“Complex work will follow in this case, both surrounding the man's death and in supporting his nearest,” an unattributed statement read. 


“It is also necessary to support the healthcare workers who came into contact with the man and put them into quarantine, sanitise the healthcare centre, at the same time as ensuring essential health services for the people of Husavik.” 


According to other local media, the man’s partner also tested positive for coronavirus and is now in isolation. 


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) would not provide further comment, but did say it was offering consular assistance to the family of an Australian man who died in Iceland, Fairfax Media reported. 


As of today, Iceland has around 330 confirmed cases of COVID-19, but so far no deaths.


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 20 March 2020

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