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Covid probe takes in pet shop, industrial building

2021-06-14 HKT 14:28
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  • Covid probe takes in pet shop, industrial building
Health officials are still investigating how a teenage girl managed to contract a mutated strain of Covid-19 earlier this month.

The 17-year-old’s infection snapped the city’s 42-day long stretch without a local unknown source case, but the source of her infection remains a mystery.

Medical experts said on Monday that they could not find an identical variant after comparing the 17-year-old’s sample against some 100,000 sets of coronavirus genomes on an international platform.

The girl’s sister and mum also contracted the virus. They live in a housing estate in Tin Shui Wai.

Top microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung said there are multiple possibilities for how the virus had spread, but human-to-human transmission was the most likely.

He said the chance of animal-to-human transmission is lower, but officials had collected samples from a pet shop in Mong Kok and an industrial estate in Tuen Mun that the girl visited.

Yuen said the girl bought a chinchilla from the pet shop. It has tested negative for the virus.

He said officials also caught some rats at the industrial building for tests.

Some 140 people who came into contact with the family have been put under quarantine, none of whom tested positive for the virus.

Yuen said antibody tests would be carried out on them to check if they had been previously infected.

Meanwhile, local health officials reported a single imported Covid-19 case on Monday, taking the city’s tally since the start of the pandemic to 11,878.

The imported case involves a 40-year-old woman who flew into the city from Indonesia. She started displaying symptoms on Sunday.

Hong Kong has recorded 40 confirmed cases over the past 14 days, three of which were local cases including one where the source of infection was unclear.
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Last updated: 2021-06-14 HKT 15:16