Two suspected cases of Wuhan coronavirus in Lapland

The Chinese tourists reported to the local health centre in Ivalo with flu-like symptoms on Thursday.

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File picture of scientist looking at bacteria cultures / Credit: iStock

Two Chinese tourists visiting Finland from Wuhan in China are being tested to see if they have the coronavirus.

The sick tourists are understood to be two members of the same family, with a third family member not showing any symptoms at this time.

“They have contacted the health care emergency last evening [Thursday] with flu symptoms. One has normal flu symptoms and the other feels a little tired and sick but doesn’t have any specific throat pain or running nose” explains Dr Markku Broas, Chief of Infections Unit at Lapland Central Hospital in Rovaniemi.

“We have very many tourists from China, and we realised last weekend that we have to be very quick to get new guidelines. Ivalo has followed the guidelines, and understood that these persons have been in Wuhan in the last 14 days and have flu-like symptoms” he tells News Now Finland.

“Because of the criteria in [Thursday evening’s] case, they have taken these patients to isolation and took specific samples, which are transported to Helsinki laboratory where they will be analysed” Broas says.

Results are expected on Friday afternoon.

New THL advice on Wuhan coronavirus

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL has issued updated information on Friday morning about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

The virus, which likely began in a market where live animals were sold, can be transmitted from person to person “but the effectiveness of the transmission is not yet known” says THL.

“Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have been found in both humans and animals. They usually cause a mild respiratory infection. Serious cases have previously been caused by SARS and MERS coronaviruses” explains the new THL guidelines, adding that this current strain of coronavirus is genetically similar to SARS.

THLS says that so far no cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have yet been confirmed in Finland, however individual cases “related to international travel and tourism are possible in Finland.”

“Rapid identification of possible disease outbreaks is important to reduce the risk of further infection by effective control measures” says THL.

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