Chinese man warded with pneumonia after travel to Wuhan not linked to outbreak in China: MOH

Chinese man warded with pneumonia after travel to Wuhan not linked to outbreak in China: MOH

A diabetes patient has her pulse checked by a diabetes specialist doctor during a medical check-up
A physician takes the pulse of a patient. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: The case of the Chinese man with pneumonia who was warded and isolated in Singapore after travelling to Wuhan is not linked to the outbreak in China, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

"Epidemiological investigations, clinical assessment and laboratory test results from the suspect case ... have found that the case is not linked to the pneumonia cluster in Wuhan," said the ministry in an update on Saturday (Jan 11). 

READ: China reports first death from Wuhan pneumonia outbreak

READ: Commentary - China's Wuhan pneumonia outbreak stirs debate over costly virus hunting

Forty-one people with pneumonia-like symptoms have so far been diagnosed with a new virus in Wuhan. One person has died from the illness, while seven others are in critical condition. 

The respiratory illness is believed to be caused by a new virus from the same family as SARS, which claimed hundreds of lives more than a decade ago. 

MOH in the statement on Saturday said the 26-year-old man has also tested negative for coronavirus. 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Some of the virus types cause less severe disease, while some - like the one that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) - are far more severe.

The ministry said it will continue to monitor the situation closely. 

"As medical practitioners are on the lookout for cases with pneumonia who have recently returned from Wuhan, Singapore is likely to see more suspect cases that will need to be investigated for possible links to the Wuhan cluster," it said. 

READ: China pneumonia outbreak may be linked to new type of virus - WHO

It has urged the public to remain vigilant and to adopt good personal hygiene practices. 

Those with a travel history to Wuhan should monitor their health closely and seek medical attention promptly if they feel unwell, and also inform their doctor of their travel history, said MOH. 

This was the second such case in Singapore this year, after a three-year-old Chinese girl with pneumonia was warded last Saturday. On Sunday, it was revealed that the girl's condition was not linked to the pneumonia cluster in Wuhan and that she suffered a common childhood viral illness. 

Neither the girl nor the man was found to have visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market associated with the Wuhan situation.

Source: CNA/ad(hs)

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