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Doctors warn Wuhan coronavirus carriers may show no symptoms

Christian Fernsby |
New research on the Wuhan coronavirus has found the virus may be present in the lungs of individuals with no obvious symptoms, making strict quarantine and contact tracing regimes crucial.

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Without close surveillance, these patients described by researchers as “cryptic cases of walking pneumonia” could prove to be yet another factor in the dangerous trajectory of the Wuhan virus, with the number of infections and countries affected rising rapidly.

The findings were reported in Friday’s edition of The Lancet medical journal by a team of doctors which included top Hong Kong infectious diseases expert Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, and was based on their study of a family of seven admitted to the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital between January 10-15.

Six members of the family were later diagnosed with the coronavirus which is causing increasing alarm around the world, with no clues on how it spreads.

Of the six family members infected with the virus, a 10-year-old boy initially showed no outward symptoms but a CAT scan of his lungs revealed irregularities called ground-glass pneumonic changes.

“As shown in this study, it is still crucial to isolate patients and trace and quarantine contacts as early as possible because asymptomatic infection appears possible,” the report said.

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