Three more virus cases in HK, two in same family - RTHK
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Three more virus cases in HK, two in same family

2020-02-09 HKT 17:34
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  • Three more virus cases in HK, two in same family
Hong Kong has recorded three more new cases of the Wuhan virus, an official said on Sunday, stressing that the new cases highlight the difficulty of identifying those with the coronavirus.

Two of the new cases are members of the same family, a grandmother and grandson, who had a barbecue and hotpot dinner with 17 other family members during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Preliminary test results for seven other relatives have also returned positive, and testing is continuing with two other family members who had showed mild flu-like symptoms.

The Head of the Communicable Disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, Chuang Shuk-kwan, says the latest case shows how hard it can be to detect people with the Wuhan virus.

"From this family cluster we know that many of them do not have obvious symptoms, and some of them did not seek medical attention.

"So obviously some of them can still go to work or because of very mild symptoms they think they're OK. So it's just like influenza. It's very difficult to pick up all those with mild symptoms and isolate them in the hospital and chase all those contacts," said Chuang.

The National Health Commission said earlier on Sunday that the number of deaths from the new coronavirus outbreak has risen to 811, taking the global count past that of the Sars epidemic in 2002/2003.

The number of people who died from Sars, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, reached 774, and more than 8,000 were infected worldwide.

The number of confirmed cases of the new virus reached 37,198 nationwide, with more than 2,600 new cases detected.

The only fatalities outside the mainland were a Chinese man in the Philippines and a 39-year-old man in Hong Kong.