Taiwan confirms 17th case of coronavirus

Newest case a 20-year-old man who transited in Hong Kong on family trip to Italy

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Taiwan's Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung announces the 17th confirmed case of 2019-nCoV on Feb. 8.

Taiwan's Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung announces the 17th confirmed case of 2019-nCoV on Feb. 8. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan on Saturday (Feb. 8) announced its 17th confirmed case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV): a Taiwanese man who had transited in Hong Kong on his way to and from Italy.

The 20-year-old man had traveled to the southern European country with his parents Jan. 22 and returned on Feb. 1, transiting through Hong Kong International Airport both ways.

The couple developed coughs on Jan. 26 and Jan. 28. By the time they returned to Taiwan, the husband had developed a fever.

He went to a clinic that day, where he was diagnosed with a cold, but four days later, after his symptoms had worsened, he checked into a hospital, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. His wife did not have a fever when she entered the country.

Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said in a statement that the young man began to exhibit a dry cough on Jan. 27 during the family trip in Italy but that he was not tested for the coronavirus and quarantined at the hospital until Friday (Feb. 7). On Saturday, his test result was positive.

At the time of publication, the total number of suspected coronavirus cases in Taiwan has risen to 1,399, and 17 have tested positive. The first reported case has been successfully cured and was discharged from the hospital on Thursday (Feb. 6).

As of Saturday morning, the virus has reportedly taken the lives of 724 people and infected 34,869, with cases documented in 28 countries.