Thailand confirms first case of Wuhan pneumonia virus outside China

Whether the woman has been to ground zero is of intense interest.

Belmont Lay| January 14, 05:52 PM

One woman from China has brought into Thailand the new virus behind the most recent pneumonia outbreak, the Thai Ministry of Public Health confirmed on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.

This was the first case outside of China, South China Morning Post reported.

The woman was found to be suffering from a fever on arrival at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport on Jan. 8.

She was initially diagnosed with mild pneumonia in hospital, according to the World Health Organisation.

The 61-year-old woman was identified as a Chinese tourist from the city in central Hubei province.

She has been receiving treatment in a hospital in Nonthaburi near Bangkok.

She is now recovering, Bloomberg and Thai media outlets reported.

The Chinese woman’s infection was confirmed on Sunday, Jan. 12, Thai authorities said in a press statement.

The woman now exhibited “no fever and is ready to return to her country”, the statement added.

People on same flight examined

Sixteen other people seated near the woman on the same flight were examined.

Their results were negative.

Thai public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul said: “We are confident we can control the situation.”

Has virus spread beyond Wuhan?

Where the woman had been previously is of concern.

If she was found to not have been to Huanan Seafood Market, it would suggest that the virus had spread to other parts of the city.

Huanan Seafood Market is associated with the outbreak in Wuhan and considered as ground zero.

WHO has called for investigations to continue in China to identify the source of the outbreak.

The disease is discovered to be a new strain of coronavirus.

It has so far infected at least 41 people in Wuhan and killed one.

WHO statements

WHO on Monday confirmed on their Twitter account that they are working with Thai and Chinese officials on the case.

WHO then said in another press statement released later on Monday evening that there was a possibility that the virus could spread beyond China.

“The possibility of cases being identified in other countries is not unexpected, and reinforces why WHO calls for ongoing active monitoring and preparedness in other countries,” the global watchdog said.

It has issued guidelines on how to detect and treat patients.

China’s health authorities found that the genetic sequence of the virus to be nearly 80 percent similar to that of the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars).

The information has been uploaded onto an online gene bank after it was shared with WHO.