Taiwan confirms 24th case of Wuhan coronavirus

CECC investigating how virus was transmitted to woman with no recent history of travel

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CECC chief Chen Shih-chung.

CECC chief Chen Shih-chung. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday evening (Feb. 19) reported one more case of novel coronavirus (COVID-2019), bringing the country's total cases to 24.

The patient, a 60-year-old woman with no history of overseas travel in the past two years, developed a fever and cough on Jan. 22. She visited local clinics four times between Jan. 22 and 29, but her symptoms only got worse. She was initially diagnosed as having pneumonia on Jan. 30 and was admitted to a hospital in northern Taiwan.

However, she later experienced more severe symptoms. On Feb. 10, the woman was transferred to an intensive care unit, and eight days later she tested positive for the Wuhan virus after the CECC expanded coronavirus testing for individuals with influenza-like illness even if they have no recent history of travel.

The CECC said the patient is being treated in a negative-pressure isolation ward, and it is currently investigating how the virus was transmitted to the woman.

Since confirming its first case of the coronavirus, a Taiwanese businesswoman returning from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, on Jan. 21, the total number of cases has reached 24, with 16 being imported. Three were Chinese tourists; six had recently been working or traveling in Wuhan; and four were members of a family that had traveled to Italy and transited in Hong Kong.

Most of the indigenous cases are suspected of contracting the virus from infected family members.