Third suspected Wuhan virus case detected in Singapore, man isolated as precaution

The 69-year-old man is the third person in Singapore to be suspected of having the Wuhan virus. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - A 69-year-old man who travelled to Wuhan has been diagnosed with pneumonia, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday evening (Jan 16).

"He has been admitted for further assessment and treatment, and isolated as a precautionary measure," a ministry spokesman said. "His condition is stable."

The man, a Singaporean, had not visited the seafood wholesale market in Huanan, from where the new bug is thought to have emerged. Investigations are ongoing to establish whether his illness is linked to the Wuhan disease cluster.

The man is the third person in Singapore to be suspected of having the Wuhan virus. The first two were a three-year-old girl and a 26-year-old man, both of whom were Chinese nationals. They had visited Wuhan - the capital of central China's Hubei province - but subsequently were tested negative for the virus.

On Thursday, a Japanese man became the second confirmed Wuhan virus case to be reported outside China.

The first death from the mystery virus occurred in China on Jan 9. The 61-year-old man, who had serious underlying medical conditions, was confirmed to have been infected with the new viral pneumonia.

The World Health Organisation has said that a newly emerging strain of coronavirus, the same virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or Sars, could have caused the current outbreak.

It is preparing for the possibility of a wider outbreak, given the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays when millions of Chinese will be travelling home or abroad.

Countries in the region are on high alert, with Indonesia and Thailand intensifying airport screenings. Meanwhile, Vietnam has isolated two Chinese visitors from Wuhan as a precautionary measure.

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