First Case Of Coronavirus Conf...

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First Case Of Coronavirus Confirmed In Northern Ireland

Niall Colbert
Niall Colbert

8:19 PM - 27 Feb 2020



The first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Northern Ireland.

Health officials say a person who travelled from Italy via Dublin is being treated at a specialist unit.

It's the first confirmed case on the island of Ireland.

Officials in the North have not disclosed any information about the individual, saying their confidentiality is important.

They did confirm that the person had not been on a school trip.

Dr Michael McBride, chief medical officer for Northern Ireland, said it is a development that the authorities expected.

Speaking in Belfast, he said: "We've said repeatedly, and as the minister has said repeatedly, it wasn't a question of if but when we would have a case in Northern Ireland.

"We have now seen our first case in Northern Ireland from someone returning from Northern Italy - that is not unexpected."

The HSE this evening said it is well-prepared and is now working to inform any contacts the patient had in order to prevent transmission.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “COVID-19 is spread through close contact with an infected person’s body fluids (e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing), or by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on.

“Close contact involves either face to face contact or spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of an infected person. The risk of transmission through casual contact is low.”

Main image: File photo of novel coronavirus. Picture by: AP/Press Association Images

 



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