Korea's Pneumonia Patient Free of SARS-Like Mystery Virus

  • By Yang Ji-ho

    January 13, 2020 12:29

    A 36-year-old Chinese woman here who came down with pneumonia is free of the virus that has caused an outbreak of the mystery illness in the Chinese city of Wuhan and elsewhere.

    The news came just as Chinese health authorities on Saturday reported the first death from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-like illness that is most likely caused by a new strain of coronavirus. A man in his 60s died two days earlier from complications from the illness.

    But the Chinese patient here, who visited Wuhan last month, has tested negative for multiple strains of coronavirus, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday.

    The KCDC suggested that the woman's infection has nothing to do with the Wuhan outbreak. She has recovered and been discharged from quarantine at Seoul National University Hospital in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province.

    Wuhan confirmed 41 cases of viral pneumonia among suspected patients as of Saturday.

    Gene expression analysis by an international group of experts shows that the new strain bears 80 percent similarity to SARS, the South China Morning Post reported Sunday.

    The experts suspect that the new strain is transmitted by bats, as was the case with SARS.

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