The Department of Health is closely monitoring four additional cases due to infection with the novel coronavirus reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday (November 23). These additional cases comprised three from Saudi Arabia (of which one was fatal) and one from Qatar.
Of the six laboratory confirmed cases reported by WHO so far, four cases (including two deaths) were from Saudi Arabia and two cases were from Qatar.
According to the WHO, two of the three most recently confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia are from the same family, living in the same household. Preliminary investigations indicate that these two cases presented with similar symptoms of illness. One died and the other recovered.
Additionally, two other members of this family also presented with similar symptoms of illness, where one died and the other is recovering. Laboratory results of the fatal case is pending, while the case that is recovering tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
Investigations are ongoing in areas of epidemiology, clinical management, and virology, to look into the likely source of infection, the route of exposure, and the possibility of human-to-human transmission of the virus. Close contacts of the recently confirmed cases are being identified and followed-up.That's what I like about the Hong Kong health authorities: They never shrug anything off, least of all reports that evoke memories of H5N1 or SARS.