Man tested positive to COVID-19 after large Upper Murray gathering

Derek Aitken isolated after the positive test result.
Derek Aitken isolated after the positive test result.

A man who attended a weekend-long gathering of more than 100 people near Albury and was diagnosed with coronavirus a few days later, still hasn't been contacted by Australian authorities.

Derek Aitken flew from Los Angeles into Albury Airport via Sydney for the event, which ran from March 6 to 9.

Mr Aitken said he felt run down by March 11 and was bedridden eight days into the illness after returning to LA.

On the ninth day he was short of breath and had tightness in his lungs.

He said, as far as he was aware, he hadn't passed the virus on to anyone, despite about 120 people attending the joint birthday party celebrations in the Upper Murray town.

Talgarno is about 37km from Albury.

Talgarno is about 37km from Albury.

"I've spoken to the LA public health department," he said.

"I notified everyone who I was with, I notified the airlines and businesses and everything, but I haven't been contacted by anyone in Australia as such.

"I spent a lot of the day after finding out I was positive with a friend who was hosting that weekend-long event contacting everyone, all of my friends and family I saw.

"They were all tested, it all came back negative."

Doctors told Mr Aitken he may have picked up the virus in numerous places, including in Los Angeles before he left or in Sydney, but likely hadn't picked it up in Albury.

The usually fit gym user was surprised how badly he had been affected.

"When it first came about, you heard about it being like a common cold, affecting our elderly," he said.

"It hit me a lot harder than I thought. I've heard of people having light symptoms but it affects everyone differently."

FIT, HEALTH: Mr Aitken was suprised how severely the virus impacted him given his fitness.

FIT, HEALTH: Mr Aitken was suprised how severely the virus impacted him given his fitness.

It had been a shock to test positive.

Mr Aitken immediately isolated on his return home, and separated from his partner within their home.

It was unclear if Californian authorities passed on details of Mr Aitken's case to Australian authorities.

The Victorian Department of Health was unable to shed light on the situation.

Only one case of the virus has been confirmed in the Towong Shire.

His flights between Los Angeles, Sydney and Albury do not appear to be on a list of known flights with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

"There were no travel restrictions when we went to Australia, the world was travelling as normal," Mr Aitken said.

"It was right after we got back that things were getting serious. We've been on lockdown in California for 14 days."

Mr Aitken, who only left his apartment for the first time in 15 days on Monday, said he had now fully recovered, but has concerns about possible long-term impacts of the illness.

This story Man tested positive to COVID-19 after event near Albury first appeared on The Border Mail.