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Chinese coronavirus found in Thailand

Published on 14/01/20 at 11:39am

The recent viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan China has spread to Thailand.

The patient is a 61 year old woman who is a Chinese national and had a fever when she arrived in Thailand. She was diagnosed with mild pneumonia and lab testing confirmed it was a novel coronavirus.

The outbreak has been traced back to a market in Wuhan, which sold meat and live animals. There is currently no clear evidence that it can spread between humans and it is believed to have originated in animals.

No media reports so far have connected the patient to the Wuhan market, or to any other people infected with the virus. The World Health Organisation said that Thai officials had identified the infection on 8 January and the patient was taken to hospital that day.

Matthew Frieman, a coronavirus expert and a Professor at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, said: “Viruses find a way to spread. Whether it is this virus or the next, humans can transmit these viruses around the world very fast and very easily. Since we don't know what the next virus will be or if this virus will spread further, therapeutics that work across a wide range of viruses are required to protect us in the future.”

Sixteen people who sat near the women on the same flight were examined with negative results, and Thailand has been screening passengers arriving at four airports since the start of the year. 12 passengers have been quarantined so far with 8 being discharged from hospital.

Conor Kavanagh

 

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