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Two people taken to hospital in St. Petersburg with signs of acute respiratory syndrome

One of them a Chinese national

ST. PETERSBURG, January 22. /TASS/. Two people have been hospitalized in St. Petersburg with symptoms of a severe acute respiratory syndrome, one of them a Chinese national, head of the S. P. Botkin Hospital for Infectious Diseases Alexey Yakovlev informed TASS.

"We have two patients currently undergoing tests. They have symptoms of a severe acute respiratory syndrome; we are determining the type of the infection. We are currently diagnosing them. One Russian national arrived from China, the other one is a Chinese student who arrived in Petersburg earlier, not today," the source informed.

The Russian national was taken to hospital from Pulkovo Airport after arriving from Shanghai. Earlier, several regional media outlets and Telegram channels reported that the Russian citizen had been hospitalized on suspicion of a new type of coronavirus, however, TASS sources did not corroborate this information, stressing that tests must be carried out in order to determine the patient’s diagnosis.

Due to the spread of a coronavirus in China, passengers arriving to Russia from a number of Asian countries are monitored for symptoms of fever. The Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare is monitoring the epidemiological situation in the country since the appearance of the new virus. Additional measures to increase sanitary and quarantine control on the Russian border have been taken.

About the virus

On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a new type of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in central China. On January 7, Chinese specialists determined the virus behind the infection - coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Doctors say that the symptoms of the new coronavirus include running nose, cough, sore throat and chest tightness. Migraines and fever are also possible, and they can last for several days. The risk group includes people with a compromised immune system, such as seniors and children. They present with symptoms similar to those of pneumonia and bronchitis.

Chinese officials confirmed on Wednesday that 444 people had been infected and 17 had died from the disease.

The Russian Health Ministry informed earlier that it had begun the search for the vaccine against the virus, holding talks with Chinese researchers on the possibility of getting access to biological materials in order to begin elaborating the vaccine.