| 7.1°C Dublin

Kerry-based family being tested for coronavirus


The coronavirus continues to dominate movements on the stock market (PA)

The coronavirus continues to dominate movements on the stock market (PA)

The coronavirus continues to dominate movements on the stock market (PA)

A KERRY-based family who had travelled recently in China are being assessed as a precautionary measure after one member complained of feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms.

The family, who are based in the north Kerry area, are understood to have been travelling in Asia over the past month.

Once their travel details became known to authorities, precautionary measures were put in place - and the family were assisted to an assessment location by medical staff wearing protective clothing.

They are understood to have been transferred by ambulance.

One source stressed that the measures involved are purely precautionary.

It follows two other precautionary cases over the past week in Kerry and Cork.

Both cases, dealt with by University Hospital Kerry (UHK) and Cork University Hospital (CUH), turned out not to involve the latest strain of the coronavirus.

The north Kerry family began the precautionary medical assessment process on Friday evening.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) stressed that it does not comment on individual cases.

Some 30 people have been tested in Ireland for the virus over the past few weeks but all tests have so far returned negative.

Patients have been placed in precautionary isolation in Dublin, Cork and Kerry awaiting those tests.

Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said it remains "very possible" that Ireland will eventually see a case of coronavirus.

To date, there have been more than 31,000 cases of infection worldwide- the overwhelming bulk of which are in China.

However, 29 cases have been confirmed in Europe - the latest involving a family of Britons who shared a ski chalet in France with a person who apparently contracted the virus during a work trip to Singapore.

There have been almost 650 fatalities to date - and health chiefs expect the death toll to exceed the SARS epidemic in 2002.

However, the latest coronavirus outbreak has a much lower fatality rate than SARS.

The latest strain of coronavirus has an apparent fatality rate of 2pc- far below that of other species-jumping viruses such as SARS or MERS.

The virus originated in the Wuhan area of China which has now been in lockdown for almost a fortnight.

Online Editors