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Cambodia Confirms One Case of Coronavirus in Coastal Town of Sihanoukville


People wearing facemasks walk through a train station on the second day of the Lunar New Year of the Rat in Hong Kong on January 26, 2020, as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The Cambodian Ministry of Health confirmed Monday evening the first case of the novel coronavirus in the country’s coastal province of Preah Sihanouk.

One male member of a Chinese family, which had flown into Sihanoukville from Wuhan, China, was confirmed infected with the virus, said Health Minister Mam Bunheng. Three other members of his family are currently under observations and all four people are being treated or observed at the Preah Sihanouk Referral Hospital.

The family arrived in Cambodia on January 23 and the 60-year-old Chinese national Jia Jinhua started show flu-like symptoms on January 25, while staying at a hotel in Sihanoukville, said the health minister.

"After Jia Jinhua was swimming at the pool [at the hotel] he had a fever," Mam Bunheng said.

Mam Bunheng added that the family had stayed at two different hotels, Independence Hotel and Queenco Hotel, for three nights in the coastal town. On the 26th, local health officials tested the man for the coronavirus, which was confirmed at 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.

The new virus, now called 2019-nCoV, is in the same family as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and was first detected in China’s Wuhan city last year, according to the World Health Organization.

It has since spread to at least 11 countries, including Cambodia’s neighbors, Thailand and Vietnam, killing at least 81 people. There are more than 3,000 confirmed cases globally, with a majority of the cases being recorded in China.

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