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China Identifies First Carrier Of Coronavirus In Wuhan

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The Chinese authorities have identified a shrimp vendor at Wuhan seafood market – from where the pandemic initiated – as the ‘patient zero’. The 57-year-old women vendor is possibly one of the first victims of the deadly coronavirus.

According to a news report published in New York Times, Wei Guixian, a 57-year-old female shrimp seller was at her shop on Dec 10, when she first developed a cold. She visited a local clinic on December 11 and received an injection, but didn’t feel any better, so she went to the Eleventh Hospital in Wuhan.

“The doctor at the Eleventh Hospital could not figure out what was wrong with me and gave me pills,” Wei told a Chinese news outlet. “By then I felt a lot worse and very uncomfortable. I did not have the strength or energy,” she said.

On December 16, the shrimp seller went to Wuhan Union Hospital — one of the city’s biggest — to get checked out. A doctor there described her illness as ‘ruthless’ and told her that several other people from the same market had already come in with similar symptoms.

By the end of the month, she was quarantined when doctors finally established the link between the emerging disease and the seafood market.

On December 31, a statement from the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission revealed that Wei was among the first 27 patients to test positive for COVID-19, and one of 24 cases with direct links to the seafood market. Wei, who has since recovered and left the hospital in January, said: “I think I contracted the infection from a toilet in the market, that I used to share with meat sellers and others.”

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Naya Daur