Chinese visitor to Bangkok infected with Wuhan coronavirus

World | 13 Jan 2020 5:40 pm

A traveler from China who arrived in Bangkok was infected with the newly identified virus believed to have triggered a pneumonia outbreak in central China, Thai officials said, Bloomberg reports.

The patient, who was hospitalized on January 8 at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, tested positive for the novel coronavirus linked to the outbreak in Wuhan, in Hubei province, the Thai Ministry of Public Health said in a statement today.

The patient has since recovered and is well enough to be repatriated. It’s the first reported case of someone outside China being infected with the novel virus, which has captured international attention because of similarities with the one that sparked Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, 17 years ago.

Unlike SARS, which killed almost 800 people, the new virus doesn’t appear to spread easily between people.

“I’d like to ask the public not to be alarmed,” Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand’s deputy premier and health minister, said in the statement.

“The detection of the patient shows that we have an efficient system of surveillance. We’re confident that we can control the situation.”

No new related pneumonia cases have been detected in China since Jan. 3, the municipal health commission in the city of Wuhan said Saturday. Genetic studies of virus material collected from patients indicated that 41 people had been infected with the novel coronavirus, instead of the 59 previously counted, it said Sunday.

Among the Chinese cases, seven were in serious condition and six were discharged. A 61-year-old man died, although doctors said he also suffered from an abdominal tumor and chronic liver disease. 

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