Coronavirus: Australia confirms first case
Published: 12:35 PM, 25 January 2020 Updated: 04:08 PM, 25 January 2020
Australia on Saturday confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus that has claimed 41 lives in China, becoming the latest country in a growing list to be affected by the illness.
According to the government statement, the sick man arrived in Melbourne from China a week ago from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, the government said. — reports AFP.
Authorities in Victoria state have followed “strict protocols, including isolating the affected person,” said Professor Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer.
“I understand the patient has pneumonia and is in a stable condition.”
The previously unknown 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is thought to have originated in a market in Wuhan where exotic animals and bushmeat were sold.
It has infected around 1,300 people in China and spread to almost a dozen other territories, including France and the United States.
The virus has caused global concern because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
Health experts say some human-to-human transmission has been recorded, particularly in Wuhan, a city of 11 million now under lockdown in a bid to limit the spread of the disease.
Australian health minister Greg Hunt said passengers who traveled on the same Melbourne-bound plane as the infected man was being contacted “to provide them with information and advice”.
The new virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
But after two days of talks to determine the level of global concern, the WHO stopped short of declaring a so-called “public health emergency of international concern” — a declaration used for the gravest epidemics.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the primary symptoms of ‘Coronavirus’ are dyspnoea, fever, cold, cough, sore throat, headache which can last for a couple of days.
There will also be signs of viral pneumonia. It is a very powerful virus. Which is even more complicated than the virus with Acute Respiratory Syndrome.