Microbiologist says HK should adopt new diagnosis criteria

Local | 13 Feb 2020 4:23 pm

Microbiologist Ho Pak-leung said today changes made by mainland on the identification of coronavirus patients will better reflect the situation and called on the Hong Kong government to study the new definitions, RTHK reports.

Health authorities in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, have now included cases that were “clinically diagnosed” in its official toll, which led to a huge jump in confirmed cases in the country.

Dr Ho told a RTHK program that so long as a patient now shows respiratory and pneumonia symptoms as well as having a lower than normal white blood cells, he or she will be clinically diagnosed as a coronavirus patient.

He said the change is a good thing as it could better reflect how many people were indeed infected by the deadly virus, since some patients had already died even before they were tested.

In addition, the severity of pneumonia the patient is suffering will also be classified into four categories: mild, moderate, serious and critical.

The head of the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Infection said that could enhance transparency and the medical sector can have a better grasp of the seriousness of the epidemic.

The expert said for local officials to work better with its mainland counterparts in disease prevention and control, they should study the new criteria carefully.

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