A woman wearing a mask in China (illustration image). - FRED DUFOUR / AFP
The health alert in China is confirmed. The mysterious viral pneumonia appeared in the center of the country, and whose virus belongs to the same family as SARS, made a second victim, announced Thursday the health authorities. A 69-year-old man died on Wednesday in Wuhan, where the disease was first detected last month, the Municipal Hygiene and Health Commission said on its website.
The patient, who fell ill on December 31, saw his health worsen five days later with severe myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), abnormal kidney function and multiple organs severely affected, authorities said. health.
According to the latest available assessment, at least 41 patients have been identified in China, five of whom are in serious condition.
Fear of re-emergence of SARS
This pneumonia is fueling fears of a re-emergence of a highly contagious SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus, which killed some 650 people in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The investigation of the Chinese health authorities made it possible to determine that several patients are sellers of a market of Wuhan specialized in the wholesale of seafood and fish. The municipality took several measures, ordering in particular the closure of the market concerned, where disinfection operations and analyzes were carried out.
Two other cases of this mysterious pneumonia have also been detected in Thailand and Japan, where the authorities of these two countries claim that the patients had gone to Wuhan before their hospitalization.
Japan: A first case of the strange Chinese pneumonia near Tokyo