Singapore’s Wuhan-Linked Pneumonia Case False Alarm

The pneumonia case in Singapore was caused by the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a common cause for childhood respiratory infection.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Singaporean health authorities announced yesterday that the case of a Chinese toddler with pneumonia they detected was not linked to the mysterious outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health said the three-year-old female Chinese national, who had pneumonia and previously travelled to the central Chinese city, also tested negative for SARS and MERS-CoV.

“The cause of her pneumonia is Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a common cause for childhood respiratory infection,” it said in a statement.

“As medical practitioners are on the lookout for cases with pneumonia who have recently returned from Wuhan, Singapore is likely to see more suspect cases that will need to be investigated for possible links to the Wuhan cluster.”

TIME reported that 59 patients in Wuhan, which was recently hit with a pneumonia outbreak of unknown origins, have been diagnosed with the virus as of Sunday, while neighbouring Hong Kong has announced suspected cases.

The mysterious pneumonia strain is linked to a seafood market, while medical experts reportedly believe it’s unlikely for the novel virus to cause a repeat of the 2003 deadly SARS outbreak that killed almost 800 people.

No deaths have been reported so far.

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