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Third person in the UK diagnosed with coronavirus

Published on 07/02/20 at 11:44am

A third British person has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, which he allegedly  caught in Singapore.

He was tested in Brighton before being taken to the St. Thomas hospital in London, which has a specialized infectious disease unit.

Two Chinese nationals are also being treated for the disease in the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectous disease centre in Newcastle.

Britain has also been evacuating its citizens from China, including Wuhan, and have been placing them into quarantine. The last flight back from the region is expected on Sunday.

Since people have been caught the disease outside of China, the British government have told people who have flown from Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau in the last two weeks to call the NHS if they feel any symptoms of the virus.

The Department of Health said in a statement that: “These countries have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review.”

There have been more than 28,000 cases worldwide and 565 people have died, although only two of the deaths have been from outside mainland China – one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.

The coronavirus outbreak began on 12 December and the disease is thought to come from animal products. Currently known as 2019-nCoV, the virus is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans. It has been categorised as a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

This episode is reminiscent of the SARS epidemic in 2003 that spread to Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Canada; it killed 774 people and infected over 8,000. Chinese scientists reported that they had generated the genetic sequence of the new virus and it is a coronavirus that is in the same group as SARS and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus).

Conor Kavanagh

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