2020.02.07 10:59

Patient behind coronavirus alert in Vilnius released home with flu

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS, LRT.lt2020.02.07 10:59

A patient with suspected coronavirus who was rushed from Vilnius Airport to a hospital on Thursday afternoon has been diagnosed with seasonal flu. The man was not tested for coronavirus, since he did not exhibit any of the symptoms, medics said on Friday.

The man, who flew to Vilnius from the United States via Warsaw, was taken to the Centre of Infectious Diseases of the Santara Clinics, but was soon released home, according to Lina Bušinskaitė, a spokeswoman for Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga.

“The man was released yesterday, and the minister was informed by the head of the Santara Clinics. As the ministry said initially, the case is not related to the coronavirus infection. A sample was not sent to the National Public Health Surveillance Laboratory,” Bušinskaitė said.

Read more: Plane with infected passenger lands in Vilnius, coronavirus ruled out

Edita Kazėnaitė, deputy director of the Santara Clinics, said tests done within an hour showed the man had seasonal flu and was immediately released home.

No coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Lithuania so far.

Specialists from the National Public Health Centre and other services met the airplane as it landed at Vilnius Airport after the passenger had informed a private clinic about his state. The man was taken off the plane to the Santara Clinics, while around half of the 45 passengers on the plane were questioned.

Lithuanian institutions are taking additional precautions to prevent an outbreak, with NPHC specialists on standby at Lithuania's three airports and the seaport of Klaipėda.

Health specialist have pointed out that the mortality rate from the new virus stands at around 2 percent and is considerably lower than that of the SARS virus which killed around 10 percent of the infected people 17 years ago.

Over 31,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection have been reported so far, most of them in China. The outbreak, which started in Wuhan, Hubei province, in December, has already claimed 638 lives.

Read more: Coronavirus: test results of suspected cases in Lithuania come back negative

Read more: Coronavirus: health specialists on standby at Lithuanian airports

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