Brazil confirms first case of coronavirus

He is 61 year old and returned recently from northern Italy

Published in 26/02/2020 - 12:51 By Alex Rodrigues - Brasília

The Brazilian Health Ministry today (Feb. 26) confirmed the first case of a Brazilian infected with the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

The patient is a 61-year-old man who lives in São Paulo and was in Lombardy, northern Italy, between February 9 and 21. After returning from his trip, last Friday (21), he displayed signs and symptoms compatible with the disease—fever, dry cough, sore throat, and a running nose.

At São Paulo’s Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, on Monday (24), the man underwent a series of clinical tests which indicated a suspicion of an infection with the virus. As per the preliminary health results and the National Contingency Plan, the hospital sent a sample to Adolfo Lutz Institute for further testing.

“Now we’ll see how this virus will behave in a tropical country, during summer” said Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, in a press conference where he explained the measures for containing the virus in the country. He also reported that the patient is feeling OK and is isolated at home.

Last Friday (21), the Italian authorities reported nine deaths, which led the Brazilian government to include Italy among the countries where the disease is spreading.

According to the ministry, more than 80.2 thousand cases of coronavirus have been registered worldwide. A total of 2.7 thousand deaths were reported, the most severe cases affecting those older than 60.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Denise Griesinger / Nira Foster

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