Published On: Thu, Jan 23rd, 2020

Singapore confirms first case of deadly Chinese coronavirus – reports

The deadly coronavirus that has killed 17 people in China has spread to a seventh country, with health ministry officials in Singapore reportedly confirming its first case of the disease.

The island city-state joins Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States in confirming cases of the illness which originated in China’s Wuhan city. 

A 66-year old man has tested positive for the virus in Singapore, according to the Straits Times. The newspaper cites Singapore’s health ministry in reporting that the man is a Chinese national and Wuhan resident.

A 53-year-old woman, who is also a Chinese national, also tested positive for the virus in preliminary examinations. However, that result has yet to be confirmed by further testing.

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© AFP / Nicolas Asfouri
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Authorities in various countries around the world have announced screening measures for passengers arriving from China in the wake of the outbreak.

The virus, currently known as 2019-nCoV, was identified in December and was linked primarily to stallholders who worked at Wuhan’s Hunan Seafood Market. It is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans.

There are over 600 confirmed cases in China so far. The illness originally spread from animals to humans, but Chinese health officials aren’t yet sure if it is capable of spreading between humans.

An example of a coronavirus. © Global Look Press/Keystone Press Agency

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses named after the crown-like spikes that can be seen when they are viewed under a microscope. The common cold is another coronavirus, as is the Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) which killed over 700 people in 37 countries in the early 2000s.

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