Hong Kong's Centre of Health Protection yesterday told doctors to be extra vigilant for suspected symptoms of a new Sars-like coronavirus, as new cases in France took the confirmed number of cases globally to 34.
Paris' Health Ministry said the second diagnosis of the coronavirus appeared to be a possible case of human-to-human transmission, because the new infection was found in a 50-year-old man who had shared a hospital room with France's only other known sufferer. Most other cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia.
"There are some patients who did not develop typical respiratory symptoms, they had only had diarrhoea at the early stages," said Dr Leung Ting-hung, controller of the Centre for Health Protection.
An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome a decade ago prompted officials to overhaul hospital and immigration procedures. There are 1,400 isolation beds in Hong Kong.