WUHAN VIRUS/Taiwan confirms 1st Wuhan coronavirus case (update)

01/21/2020 09:16 PM

Taipei, Jan. 21 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday reported its first confirmed case of a new type of coronavirus, carried by a Taiwanese woman who was recently in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

The woman, who works in Wuhan, reported to quarantine officials at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that she had a fever on returning Monday, according to an epidemic response command center established Monday to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The woman was immediately placed in quarantine and later tested positive for the pneumonia-like virus dubbed the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), making her the world's first non-Chinese national diagnosed with the disease, the center said.

The woman, 55, showed symptoms of a fever, cough and shortness of breath after arriving at the airport. A chest x-ray of her lungs indicated pneumonia and the woman tested positive for the 2019-nCoV Tuesday, according to Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the epidemic response command center.

Quarantine officials are tracing the 34 passengers and 12 crew members the woman had contact with on her flight back to Taiwan, Chen said.

However, as she was immediately placed in quarantine upon arrival at the airport and did not come into contact with other people, there is no need to panic, Chen said, adding that the woman wore a face mask throughout the flight.

After receiving medical treatment, the woman's fever improved, according to Centers for Disease Control physician Huang Wan-ting (黃婉婷).

The woman's chronic illness began on Jan. 11 when she started to display such symptoms as a cough, sore throat and lethargy, though she has said she did not go to any markets in Wuhan or come into contact with birds or edible meat, according to Huang.

In addition, two additional suspected cases of 2019-nCoV were reported in Taiwan Monday.

The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak had risen to six in Wuhan as of Monday, according to data released by Chinese health authorities.

China had confirmed 291 cases of patients infected with the virus and reported 43 suspected case as of that day.

On Monday alone, 77 new cases were confirmed, while 27 additional suspected cases were reported, according to the data.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Evelyn Kao)

Enditem/AW

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