Brazil confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2020-02-26 17:11:33 BdST

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A Brazilian government test has confirmed the first case of a fast-spreading new coronavirus in Latin America, a source said on Wednesday, after a Sao Paulo hospital flagged the possible infection of a 61-year-old who had visited Italy.

Brazil's Health Ministry declined to comment on the result of the test ahead of a news conference at 11am local time (1400 GMT). The person familiar with the matter spoke on the condition of anonymity because the results were not yet public.
 
The ministry said in a statement on Tuesday evening that it was looking into the case of a Sao Paulo resident who had travelled to Lombardy, in northern Italy, from Feb 9 to Feb. 21 and had symptoms compatible with the disease.
 
The Albert Einstein Hospital said in a statement that the man tested positive to a PCR real time test on Monday and it notified Sao Paulo state's epidemiological agency on Tuesday.
 
The new coronavirus is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.