Suspected case of novel coronavirus found to be flu

Updated: 2012-10-08 16:59

By Wang Qingyun (

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Hong Kong health authorities ruled out a suspected case of a novel coronavirus infection on Oct 8.

The case is a 4-year-old boy who came to Hong Kong from Saudi Arabia on Oct 3 with his father. On Oct 7, he showed symptoms of severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough and vomiting, and was transferred to Queen Mary Hospital on the same day.

The Center for Health Protection of Hong Kong's Department of Health tested specimens drawn from the boy's airway and found he had H1N1 flu, not novel coronavirus.

The boy's father also had a fever two days before the boy caught the disease, but is now recovered, the center found.

The center suggests that anyone coming to Hong Kong from countries affected by novel coronavirus and who show respiratory symptoms "should wear a mask, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to a doctor."

The Health Protection Agency of Britain announced on its website on Sept 23 that a Qatari man who underwent treatment in London for severe respiratory illness had a type of coronavirus that had never been found in humans before 2012.

The virus was also found in a Saudi Arabian citizen who died from respiratory illness in recent months.

On Sept 28, the center regulated that health workers must report to the Department of Health if they find any severe respiratory illness case that they suspect to be caused by the novel coronavirus infection.

The World Health Organization said on its website on Sept 29 that so far there is no evidence that the virus transmits from person to person.