CORONAVIRUS/Class in Kaohsiung school suspended on suspicion of COVID-19

06/13/2020 08:25 PM
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Photo taken from Unsplash for illustrative purposes only
Photo taken from Unsplash for illustrative purposes only

Kaohsiung, June 13 (CNA) The Kaohsiung Department of Health ordered a secondary school in the city to suspend classes Saturday after half the students in the class had fallen ill in the previous four days with symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.

Out of the 30 students in the class, 15 came down with coughs, fevers and discomfort in the upper respiratory tract between June 9 and June 12, the department's technical specialist Pan Chao-ying (潘炤穎) said.

Following the class's suspension Saturday, four students were tested for both COVID-19 and the flu. Two of the students' COVID-19 tests and the other two students' flu tests came back negative.

Results for the other tests are expected on Sunday.

Asked why tests were not done on all of the students who fell ill, Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), deputy director general of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said it was normal in a cluster infection of an infectious disease to first randomly test only a few patients to see what might be causing the infection.

If all tests come back negative, the students' samples will be sent to the CDC's Center for Research, Diagnostics and Vaccine Development, commonly called the Kunyang Lab, for further testing to try to identify the disease, Chuang said.

According to the Kaohsiung Education Bureau, none of the symptomatic students have traveled overseas or have recently been in close contact with coronavirus patients or people in quarantine.

Taiwan has so far reported no new domestic COVID-19 cases in nearly two months.

(By Chen Chao-fu, Chang Min-hsuan and Ko Lin)

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