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'Silent carrier' linked to one family's virus cases

2020-02-20 HKT 18:01
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  • 'Silent carrier' linked to one family's virus cases
Wendy Wong reports
Health authorities said on Thursday that they suspect an elderly man with pneumonia could have spread the new coronavirus to his immediate family members, though he has tested negative for Covid-19.

The authorities said the 75-year-old man has been classified as a probable case after a CT scan showed signs of pneumonia.

Medical staff only carried out checks on the man after his 83-year-old wife was confirmed to have the infection on Wednesday. He had developed a cough by January 25 and visited private doctors three times.

He later felt better and thought he had recovered. Before he fell sick, he had visited Zhangmutou in Guangdong province on many occasions.

His daughter and son-in-law were among earlier infection cases.

Dr Chuang of the Centre for Health Protection said the elderly man could have contracted the virus while he was on the mainland, becoming the first case in his family.

"It is highly suspicious because he has an epidemiologic link with confirmed cases," she said.

Chuang said further tests could confirm that he is indeed infected with the virus.

Meanwhile, the centre recorded more confirmed virus cases in the city with a fast-food restaurant cashier and a taxi driver joining the list. Officials said they couldn’t find any link between these two and other Covid-19 patients.

A 38-year-old woman infected works in Super Super Congee and Noodles in Yau Tong. She developed a fever on Monday last week and visited doctors twice.

Health authorities said she hasn't been outside Hong Kong recently, and officials were following up with the restaurant on the condition of its other staff.

The 58-year-old taxi driver tested positive for the virus after he fainted and was sent to North District Hospital. Health officials said he had suffered from a fever for around two weeks.

Health officials said late on Thursday that a 48-year-old policeman has also been confirmed with the virus, taking the number of confirmed cases to 68. He lives in Yau Tong and sought treatment on Tuesday, and has been transferred to United Christian Hospital.
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Last updated: 2020-02-21 HKT 03:30