"A blood sample from the boy was sent to the Health Control Division in Bangkok to test for the virus. The test confirmed that he is not infected with the Wuhan coronavirus,” PPHO Chief Thanit told The Phuket News this morning.
“The boy’s condition is improving. It is just the flu. He will leave Vachira Phuket Hosital today.” he said.
However, Chief Thanit declined to identify which strain of influenza the boy is suffering from.
The boy landed in Phuket on a direct flight from Wuhan on Tuesday night. He was travelling with his parents on a group tour.
Health officers using thermal scanners at the airport identified that the boy had an elevated body temperature, and had him taken immediately to Vachira Hospital in Phuket Town to be kept under observation in an isolated area. (See story here.)
“The boy’s parents and other people known to have been in close contact with the boy have not exhibited any signs of infection,” Chief Thanit said today.
Regarding the World Health Organisation set to decide later today whether to declare the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a World Health Emergency, Mr Thanit said that any such declaration would make no difference to the efforts by health officials in Phuket to prevent the virus from arriving on the island.
“Even if the Wuhan coronavirus is declared a World Health Emergency, Health Control Division officers at the airport and PPHO medical staff will continue working to international standards in response to any suspicious symptoms,” he said.
“We have checked every Chinese tourist arriving on a direct flight from Wuhan,” Chief Thanit added.
Mr Thanit also dismissed any concerns about the expected influx of Chinese tourists arriving in Phuket for the Chinese New Year and the recently confirmed ability of the virus to be transmitted from person to person.
“I am not worried about this case. We are are strictly adhering to protocols,” he said.
Regardless, Mr Thanit continued to urge people to remain vigilant and to report themselves immediately if they suspect they have been infected.
“Please call the PPHO Disease Control Division at 076-211330 ext 1330 and 1331 for Thai and English,” he repeated.
Alternatively, people can call the national Department of Disease Control (DDC) hotline 1422.