Camilla Rothe

Camilla Rothe
Born(1974-09-20)September 20, 1974
Known forCOVID-19 in Germany
Scientific career
FieldsPhysician and Tropical medicine specialist

Camilla Rothe (born 20 September 1974 in Heidelberg) is a German physician and tropical medicine specialist. She diagnosed the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Germany, and her scientific work helped confirm that the virus could be transmitted asymptomatically.


Camilla Rothe grew up in Heidelberg, where she attended the Kurfürst Friedrich Gymnasium and graduated at the top of her class.[1] She studied medicine from 1994 to 2001 in Freiburg and Berlin. She worked as an assistant doctor at the Charité in Berlin, where she graduated as a specialist in internal medicine in 2008. In the same year she completed completed her doctorate. From 2009 to 2013 she worked at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital Blantyre, in the south of Malawi. On her return, she continued to specialize in tropical medicine at the Bernhard Nocht Institute in Hamburg. From there she moved to the LMU Klinikum in Munich.[2]

Work on COVID-19

On 27 January 2020 Rothe diagnosed the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Germany.[3] It was evident that the infection had come from a Chinese traveler who visited Germany without noticing any symptoms of the disease. Rothe and Michael Hölscher published this discovery on 30 January in The New England Journal of Medicine. Her published report was initially met with disbelief and denial.[4] Thus began a two-month scientific dispute about when the disease can be transmitted from person to person, which ended with the confirmation of their findings.[5]

In 2020, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people of the year. Professor of molecular medicine Eric Topol wrote that "her discovery has saved countless lives".[6][7]


  • Clinical Cases in Tropical Medicine. Saunders, Philadelphia 2014.ISBN 978-0-7020-5824-0.


  1. ^ "Corona-Entdeckung: Eine Heidelbergerin warnte die Welt und wurde lange ignoriert" (in German). Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  2. ^ "UKE - Arztprofil - Camilla Rothe" (in German). Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  3. ^ Rachelle Pouplier. "Camilla Rothe testete ersten Coronapatienten in Deutschland: Ihre Bilanz sechs Monate danach - DER SPIEGEL - Gesundheit" (in German). Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  4. ^ "Camilla Rothe: The 100 Most Influential People of 2020". Time. Retrieved 2022-02-07.
  5. ^ "How the World Missed Covid-19's Silent Spread". The New York Times. 2020-06-27. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  6. ^ "Camilla Rothe: The 100 Most Influential People of 2020". Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  7. ^ Apuzzo, Matt; Gebrekidan, Selam; Kirkpatrick, David D. (2020-06-27). "How the World Missed Covid-19's Silent Spread". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-15.

Media files used on this page

SARS-CoV-2 without background.png
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).