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No Wuhan coronavirus infection reported in Finland : THL

Published : 23 Jan 2020, 02:13

Updated : 23 Jan 2020, 10:17

  DF Report

Press Release Photo by THL.

No case of Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a cousin of the SARS virus, has been diagnosed in Finland, according to the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

SARS or severe acute respiratory syndrome is the disease caused by SARS coronavirus. It causes an often severe illness marked initially by systemic symptoms of muscle pain, headache, and fever, followed in 2–14 days by the onset of respiratory symptoms, mainly cough, dyspnea, and pneumonia.

At the start of this year, cases of pneumonia were diagnosed in Wuhan, China, and a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been identified as the cause. The coronavirus has infected hundreds since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December last.

In general, the risk of travellers becoming ill in China and Asia is low.

However, travelling in the Wuhan area may lead to some risk of infection.

THL is monitoring the situation of Wuhan coronavirus together with the ECDC and the World Health Organisation (WHO). It will update its webpage with the latest information on the spread of the virus and with instructions for preventing infection, said a THL press release issued on Wednesday.

It is possible that individual cases of the illness may be found in Finland as a result of tourism and other international travel.

Rapid identification of potential cases is important so that effective control measures can be implemented to reduce the risk of further infections, said the press release.

Finnish hospitals are well prepared for studying and treating coronavirus infections in isolation.

About 400 infections have been diagnosed so far and in addition to Wuhan, where a majority of the cases have been diagnosed, some cases have been found in other parts of China, such as Beijing and Guangdong.

In Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the USA, individual infections have been confirmed in persons who had spent time in Wuhan before developing the illness.

The patients’ symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. The symptoms have mostly been mild and the majority of the patients have recovered well. 

Many people with more severe symptoms also had some other underlying condition.

WHO is not recommending any specific measures to tourists nor any restrictions on travel or international trade. There are no direct flights from Finland to Wuhan.

According to current information, several early cases of the epidemic are linked to time spent at a Wuhan market where seafood and live animals are sold. However, the source of the infections is not yet known.

At least, to some extent, the virus can be transmitted from one person to another, but the level of contagiousness is not yet well understood.

Coronaviruses are a set of viruses that have been detected in both humans and animals. They usually cause a mild respiratory infection.

Serious cases have previously been caused by SARS and MERS coronaviruses. Coronavirus infections can be prevented with good hand hygiene.