Gothenburg man treated for coronavirus after visiting Italy

A man in his 30s is being treated in hospital for the new coronavirus after visiting Italy, Swedish health authorities confirm.

Gothenburg man treated for coronavirus after visiting Italy
Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
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The patient fell ill three days after returning to Sweden from northern Italy, with fever and respiratory symptoms, and contacted the clinic for infectious diseases, said Sweden's Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten).

A test for the new coronavirus COVID-19 came back positive on Wednesday afternoon.

The man is said to be feeling well under the circumstances and is being kept in Sahlgrenska University Hospital for observation.

READ ALSO: How worried should you be about the coronavirus in Sweden?

It is believed he contracted the virus in Italy, where more than 370 cases have been confirmed.

Swedish health officials told a press conference on Wednesday evening that the man had been to one of the Italian regions affected by the coronavirus, but would not elaborate in order to protect his integrity.

Health authorities are working to track down anyone the man may have been in contact with.

“We believe our chances of identifying those who have been exposed to be good. It is not a large group. The man was not travelling as part of a large group and was not contagious when he travelled, but only fell ill in Sweden,” Thomas Wahlberg, an infectious disease doctor, told the press conference.

Around 300 people have so far been tested for the coronavirus in Sweden and all tests apart from two – the latest case in Gothenburg and a woman in Jönköping on January 31st who self-quarantined after a trip to China – have come back negative.

The risk of contracting the coronavirus in Sweden is still believed to be small.

Sweden's Public Health Agency on Tuesday raised its risk level for the coronavirus spreading in Sweden from “very low” to “low”, and upgraded the risk of individuals catching it abroad to “high”.

READ ALSO: Sweden raises risk alert for coronavirus

It is important to note that the vast majority of patients recover.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 80 percent of people who contract the new coronavirus recover without needing special treatment.

Around one out of every six people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Only around two percent of cases are fatal. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

The coronavirus is primarily spread through airborne contact or contact with contaminated objects, and the symptoms include a cough, headache, fatigue, fever, aching and difficulty breathing.

If you think you have the illness, do not go to hospital or your doctor's surgery. Swedish health authorities are worried about potentially infected people turning up at hospitals and passing on the virus. Instead, call Sweden's national health advice hotline 1177.


Swedish vocabulary

fever – feber

headache – huvudvärk

cough – hosta

breathing difficulties – svårigheter att andas

a cold – (en) förkylning

the flu – influensan

the coronavirus – coronaviruset

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