Thailand reports first SARS-like coronavirus case outside China
14 January 2020
Thailand on Wednesday (8 January) reported that a Chinese traveler has been diagnosed with mild pneumonia, later confirmed to have been caused by the so-called novel coronavirus, in signs that the new SARS-like virus that has already given rise to 41 pneumonia-like cases and one death in China, might have spread beyond China’s borders.
Conn-young, a Chinese tourist in Thailand is the first confirmed case of the new pneumonia virus outside China, according to the South China Morning Post, adding that the female tourist from Wuhan has been receiving treatment at a hospital near Bangkok since last week.
Thai health authorities said in a statement that the traveler was confirmed to have the virus on Sunday,... but she's feeling better and is ready to return home.
The authorities added they are confident they can control the situation.
According to the report, 16 people who were sitting near the patient on the same flight were examined,... and their results all came up negative.
It's the first time the virus has been confirmed outside China, UN and Thai officials said on Monday.
The outbreak has caused alarm because of the link with SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The UN health agency (WHO) confirmed that the outbreak in the city of Wuhan was caused by a previously unknown type of corona virus, a broad family ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses like SARS.
Authorities in Wuhan said a seafood market in the city was the center of the outbreak. It was closed on 1 January.
There is so far no indication of human-to-human transmission of the virus.
Scientists in Hong Kong's Department of Health said on Saturday that genetic sequencing of the virus from a Wuhan patient, published online by a Chinese expert, indicated it was 80 percent similar to SARS found in bats.
WHO said on Monday it was not surprising that the virus had spread beyond China and added that it might soon convene an emergency meeting on the new virus.