Insight

Unknown Virus Update from Hong Kong

A member of the staff of the Prince of Wales Hospital has posted the following message on an infectuous diseases email list:

I am told that the incubation period appears to be 5-7 days. Patients present with high temperature which then settles. Patients then develop chills and rigors with high fever.

Chest x ray may initially be clear but then changes (bases in particular) start on Day 3-4.

Patients are lymphopenic with platelets decreasing over 3-4 days after initially being normal. APTT is prolonged, PT tends to be normal. LFTS are difficult to interpret because of various drug effects. If anything low rise (100) in ALT.

We now have 80 cases of atypical pneumonia in this hospital (64 yesterday) and over 50% are either Health Care Workers or Medical students.

Today we have admitted 4 cases to ICU one of whom requires ventilation.

Infectious diseases experts are talking about nebulized ribavarin and pulse steroids.

ICU is seeing the serious cases of the first contacts. We are all waiting apprehensively to see if there is a second wave.

No update on the micro.

There are sporadic cases elsewhere in Hong Kong some of whom were contacts with the original patient in our hospital.

What you see and read on CNN, BBC etc is 24 hours out of date.

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