Second Danish coronavirus infection identified

Second Danish coronavirus infection identified
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
A second person in Denmark has tested positive for coronavirus.

The person fell ill with a cough after a recent skiing holiday in northern Italy, the Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen, DHA) has confirmed.

They were examined at Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet, which on Friday confirmed that the test was positive for new coronavirus, news agency Ritzau reports.

The individual returned from a ski holiday in northern Italy on February 15th and became ill with a cough three days after returning.

They contacted their own doctor on February 27th — nine days after the first symptoms — and were then referred to Rigshospitalet, where a throat swab confirmed coronavirus infection.

Health authorities in Denmark have advised people who have been in outbreak countries who are experiencing symptoms not to present at hospitals or attend doctors’ surgeries, but to contact health authorities by telephone.

Denmark’s first confirmed case of the virus was reported on Thursday. That infection also occurred after a ski holiday in northern Italy, the area of Europe which has seen the most serious outbreak.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: The everyday precautions to take if you're in Italy

The new case does not change DHA’s strategy to contain the virus as much as possible.

“Our strategy remains to quickly contain the spread of infection by diagnosing Covid-19 [the disease caused by the coronavirus, ed.] and treating the patient in isolation,” the agency’s director Søren Brostrøm said via a statement.

In addition to isolation, people who have been in contact with the infected person will be traced.

The infected person has been placed in home quarantine by the Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed). The authority has begun work to find persons who may have been in contact with the infected individual.

No further information on the infected individual has been released at the time of writing. Therefore, the age, gender and place of residence of that person are unknown at present.

At least 180 people have so far been tested for coronavirus in Denmark, Ritzau reports, while others have been placed in home quarantine because they have been in contact with an infected person. That includes 16 employees at broadcaster TV2, the workplace of the first person in Denmark to test positive for the infection.

DHA has said that it expects more confirmed coronavirus case in Denmark, but Brostrøm on Thursday urged the public in Denmark not to panic.

He also advised people who have been in outbreak countries who are experiencing symptoms not to present at hospitals or attend doctors’ surgeries, but to contact health authorities by telephone.

READ ALSO: Who to call and what to say when contacting health authorities in Denmark

“Don’t panic (if you think you have symptoms). You can be assured that our health system is ready – we have not switched to maximum alert yet, but are prepared to do so if necessary,” he said to TV2 on Thursday.

The virus often begins with symptoms resembling a common cold and can develop into respiratory infection. The elderly and people with already-weakened immune systems are most at risk of serious complications.

“With (new coronavirus) it seems that most people have mild symptoms, but the elderly and people who are already sick can get very ill and die,” Brostrøm said.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 80 percent of patients infected with the virus suffer mild illness and recover. Around two percent of all cases are fatal.


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