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7 new cases of Wuhan pneumonia reported in HK

05 January 2020

By The SUN

Health checks at HK's airport have been tightened as a result of the mystery disease outbreak

Hong Kong authorities have reported seven new cases of people being admitted to various public hospitals with pneumonia-like symptoms believed to have been picked up from Wuhan City in Central China.

All the patients, aged between 2 and 55 years old, were taken to hospitals in the past 24 hours after showing signs of fever, respiratory infection or pneumonia symptoms. They are all in stable condition.
Three of them, two males and one female, are confined at Queen Elizabeth Hospital; two, a male and a two-year-old female, are in Princess Margaret Hospital; one other female is in Ruttonjee Hospital; and the last, a male, is in Tseung Kwan O Hospital.

A government press release issued at noon today, Jan. 5, said the new patients brought to 15 the total number of such cases reported in Hong Kong since Dec 31. Five of the patients admitted to hospital earlier have been discharged.

The statement said all the patients had been to Wuhan in the past 14 days, but had not been to any wet market there. News reports had earlier identified a wet market in Hubei’s capital as the source of the outbreak of the still unidentified type of pneumonia.
They are all being treated in isolation at the hospitals while the Department of Health is conducting further tests.

Reports of the mysterious flu outbreak have revived memories of the deadly SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) that started in China in 2002, and went on to kill  hundreds of people in several places, including 299 in Hong Kong.

Latest reports from Wuhan said 44 people had been admitted to hospital with the unidentified virus, and 11 are in serious condition. A further 121 are under observation. However, no death has been reported.

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At least one suspected case has also been reported in Singapore, involving a three-year-old girl from China who had pneumonia and had traveled to Wuhan.

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Health Sophia Chan has reminded people not to visit wet markets or eat wild animals while traveling. She also assured the public that the  government has adopted an active response to the outbreak.

Yesterday, the government activated its new three-tier response mechanism for infectious diseases and put down the suspected Wuhan pneumonia cases as “serious”. Least serious cases merit an alert response, and the most serious, an emergency.

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