DOH investigating suspected case of new coronavirus strain in Cebu

The Department of Health (DOH) is looking into the case of a 5-year-old child who arrived from Wuhan City in China.

Before getting admitted, the child was observed to have a cough and fever. The child has tested positive for a non-specific pancoronavirus and is now admitted to a hospital in Cebu City. 

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press conference in Manila on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 that the child tested negative of the previously known strains of coronavirus such as MERS-COv (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and SARS-COv (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus). 

“However, the samples tested positive for the non-specific pancoronavirus assay, thus the specimen has been sent to Australia to identify the specific coronavirus strain,” he said.

The test results will be out in 24 hours after the Australian lab received the samples, according to health officials.

Duque revealed that the patient “is still experiencing cough but is currently stable and afebrile” or no longer feverish.

This new strain is the 7th known type of coronavirus that humans can contract. The 2019 nCoV, according to WHO, is “a never-before-seen strain belonging to a broad family of viruses ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as SARS.”

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