WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A British backpacker who was traveling around Asia was reported to have fallen ill while visiting Thailand.
- Doctors at a Phuket hospital where the man was taken feared the patient has contracted the deadly Chinese coronavirus based on his pneumonia-like symptoms.
- His family told The Sun that if not for their son being healthy, he might have quickly succumbed to the infection.
A British tourist is suspected to be the first Western victim to have contracted the deadly coronavirus after he was hospitalized while on a trip to Thailand, the Sun reported.
Ash Shorley, 32, had been traveling around Southeast Asia when he became sick while visiting the Koh Phi Phi Island in Thailand. He was already in critical condition when he was transported by seaplane to a Phuket hospital, where he is currently being treated for flu-like lung infections.
Doctors believe Shorley’s symptoms are congruent with the new Chinese coronavirus were three deaths linked to the virus have been reported as well as infecting a hundred others.
According to the outlet, surgeons had to drain 70 ounces of fluid from Shorley’s collapsed lungs after getting infected by the virus.
“They think he is the first Western victim of the Chinese flu. We are waiting on tests,” his father, Chris, told the outlet. He and wife, Julie, from Thornton, Lancashire, flew to Thailand to be with their son.
Chris also told the newspaper that his son was only two days away from death when he arrived at the hospital and would have died if he wasn’t so fit and healthy.
Now, his family is advising anyone traveling to Asia to take precautions.
“I would say to you, get a mask. Everyone here is wearing masks, there are people coughing everywhere,” his father warned.
Over the weekend, a total of 198 cases including three deaths have been recorded in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged.
State broadcaster CCTV reported a total of 217 confirmed cases in the country including five patients in the capital Beijing and 14 in Guangdong.
Outside China, officials said two cases have been reported in Thailand and one in Japan, all of which involved either people from Wuhan or those who recently traveled from China.
Source: New York Post