HONG KONG (Reuters) – The Chinese-ruled gambling hub of Macau confirmed on Wednesday its first case of pneumonia linked to an outbreak of a newly identified coronavirus strain in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, China’s state news agency Xinhua said.
The patient, a 52-year-old woman, was a tourist from Wuhan and reported to a local hospital on Tuesday afternoon, it said.
The death toll from the new flu-like coronavirus in China rose to nine on Wednesday with 440 confirmed cases. The virus, originating in Wuhan at the end of last year, has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
The former Portuguese colony’s government said last week it issued prevention guidelines to schools and other social service institutions and enhanced temperature screening at maritime terminals and land-based checkpoints.
Health authorities in neighboring Hong Kong said on Tuesday the city had no confirmed cases of people contracting the Wuhan virus.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses named because of the crown-like spikes on their surfaces that cause respiratory illnesses ranging from the common cold to the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Writing by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Christian Schmollinger