We’ve been following this story with the potential to become a worldwide disease outbreak. Today’s report out of the Philippines is concerning …
Child from China tests positive for coronavirus in Philippines
Jan 21 2020
ABS-CBN News, MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — A child from China, where cases of a SARS-like virus soared, had tested positive for coronavirus while in the Philippines, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
The 5-year-old from the central Chinese city of Wuhan arrived in Cebu City last Jan. 12 “to make arrangements to study English,” said Dr. Ferchito Avelino, director of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau. The child was confined at a hospital the same day, he added.
Samples from the boy, who experienced fever, throat irritation and cough, tested negative for MERS-COV and SARS, but tested positive for “non-specific pancoronavirus,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told reporters.
Pancoronavirus is a test that detects any coronavirus, but cannot identify the particular strain, DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization.
A new strain of coronavirus was recently discovered in Wuhan and has infected 218 people.
Specimen from the patient in Cebu City was sent to specialists in Australia to identify which coronavirus strain he carried, said Duque.
The child “is still experiencing cough but is currently stable,” he added.
The DOH is also monitoring 3 other individuals from China who had flu-like symptoms when they landed at the Kalibo airport in Aklan, he said.
The trio had not no history of travel to Wuhan or contact with any patient of the new coronavirus or sick animals, said Duque.
Coronaviruses were previously thought to be transmitted between animals and people. However, the new China virus is contagious among humans, its health officials confirmed.
WHO calls for emergency meeting on China coronavirus
Common symptoms of coronavirus infection include cough, fever, shortness of breath and breathing difficulty. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, said Duque.
The public should wash their hands frequently, avoid contact with wild animals and people with flu-like symptoms, and cover the mouth or nose when coughing and sneezing, he said.
CHINA VIRUS SPREADING
Some experts say the new China strain may not be as deadly as SARS, which killed nearly 800 people worldwide during a 2002 to 2003 outbreak that also originated from China.
Little is known about the new virus, including its origin.
National and local health authorities in China have also reported 21 patients outside of Wuhan, including 5 in Beijing and 2 in Shanghai, marking the first instances of the virus spreading to other parts of the country.
South Korea on Jan. 20 reported a new case of the virus involving a Chinese traveler from Wuhan.
Thailand has reported 2 confirmed cases of the virus, both of whom were Chinese tourists from Wuhan.
Japan also confirmed one case of a Japanese citizen who visited Wuhan. Source | Fair Use
Vaccine for new Chinese coronavirus in the works
Jan 20, 2020
(CNN)The National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine against the new virus that has infected hundreds and killed four in Asia.
“The NIH is in the process of taking the first steps towards the development of a vaccine,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci said it would take a few months until the first phase of the clinical trials get underway and more than a year until a vaccine might be available.
The virus, which was first reported at the end of December, has infected more than 200 people, according to a Chinese government-appointed expert. The bulk of the cases have been in China, but there have been four cases in Thailand, South Korea and Japan.
The virus originated in animals and can be spread from person to person. While most of the patients visited an animal and seafood market in Wuhan, a city about 700 miles south of Beijing, some did not.
This new virus is a coronavirus, which is the same family as the virus that causes SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which was first reported in Asia in 2003 and killed more than 700 people. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, which has killed more than 800 people since 2012, is also caused by a coronavirus.
Working on a vaccine
A team of scientists in Texas, New York and China are also at work on a vaccine, according to Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
“The lesson we’ve learned is coronavirus infections are serious and one of the newest and biggest global health threats,” Hotez said. Read more. Read more.