Monday, October 08, 2012

Hong Kong Boy Tests Negative For Coronavirus


Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL


# 6615



Yesterday (see Hong Kong Investigating Possible Coronavirus Case) we learned of a 4-year old boy, recently arrived in Hong Kong from Saudi Arabia, who was in isolation and being tested for the novel coronavirus.


Today test results are back, and the good news (much as we saw with Denmark’s 5 suspected cases ten days ago), is that this patient tested negative for the virus.  Instead, the boy has the flu.


Here’s the press release from the Centre for Health Protection.



Suspected case of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with Novel Coronavirus confirmed to be influenza infection

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health said today (October 8) that the suspected case of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with Novel Coronavirus affecting a four-year-old boy who came from Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was confirmed to be an influenza infection.


CHP spokesman said that the Centre had carried out an urgent investigation into the case on receipt of notification from Ruttonjee Hospital yesterday. The boy was subsequently admitted to Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) for isolation yesterday. Investigation revealed that the boy has upper respiratory tract symptoms and there is no clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia. His current condition is stable.

Respiratory specimens taken from the boy at QMH tested positive for influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus but negative for Novel Coronavirus associated with Severe Respiratory Disease. The patient is not a case of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with Novel Coronavirus infection.


The spokesman advised travellers returning from novel coronavirus-affected countries with respiratory symptoms should wear a facial mask, seek medical attention and reveal the travel history to the doctor.

Ends/Monday, October 8, 2012
Issued at HKT 11:27



With hundreds of thousands of people expected to visit Saudi Arabia for the Hajj over the next month, and no lack of seasonal respiratory viruses in circulation, we can probably expect to see a number of false alarms like this.