DOH investigates suspected case of “novel coronavirus”

(FILES) In this file photograph taken on January 12, 2020 a woman walks in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province. (Photo by Noel Celis / AFP)

(Eagle News) — The Department of Health is investigating a a suspected case of “novel coronavirus.”

In a nationally televised press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 21, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the case involved a five-year-old who came to Cebu with his mother on Jan. 12 to study English.

The mother and child, he said, were from Wuhan, China.

Duque said the samples from the child tested negative for MERS-coV and SARS-coV.

A specimen, he said, has been sent to Australia to “identify the specific coronavirus strain.”

As for the three Chinese who landed in Kalibo, Aklan, and who were reported to have exhibited symptoms, the Health secretary said the “signs and symptoms which were manifested by (them) did not fit the case definition of the new coronavirus.”

China, where the respiratory illness was first reported, has confirmed the new strain can be passed from person to person.

So far, three people have died of the strain, which causes a new type of pneumonia.

Japan, Thailand and South Korea have already reported cases.