A traveler in Lapland has been confirmed to carry the coronavirus, according to a statement by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL, released on Wednesday evening.

The traveler has arrived from Wuhan, China and the infection was diagnosed at the Lapland Hospital District in Rovaniemi, northern Finland, where the traveler is in quarantine.

According to tabloid Iltalehti, the patient is a young Chinese woman whose samples were examined in Huslab in Helsinki on Wednesday.

This is the first diagnosed coronavirus infection in Finland. Finland is the 17th country in the world where the disease has been detected, third in Europe.

According to Markku Broas, a chief physician specializing in infectious diseases at Lapland Hospital District, both foreigners and native Finns have been subjected to the virus.

According to THL, the number of subjected people is about 15. The Lapland Hospital District will follow their health for the next 14 days.

Wuhan coronavirus: Latest updates

At the start of this year, cases of pneumonia were diagnosed in Wuhan, China, and a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been identified as the cause. 

The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is monitoring the situation together with the ECDC and the World Health Organisation (WHO) and will be updating this page with the latest information on the spread of the virus and with instructions for preventing infection. 

• So far, almost 6 000 infections have been diagnosed. The number of cases is expected to increase daily as a result of both the increase in infections and also possibly because of increased testing of older samples. The increase in test locations and test numbers may also explain the increase in the number of cases.

• The majority of cases have been recorded in China, and the majority of these have been found in the City of Wuhan and the province of Hubei.

• In addition, some tourism-related cases have been identified, mostly in other Asian countries. In Europe, individual cases have been reported in France and Germany.•According to current information, the cases identified outside of China have not been significantly associated with further infections, but monitoring of the patients’ close contacts continues. 

• The patients’ symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. According to current data, the symptoms of many patients have been mild, but there have also been serious cases.

• According to the WHO, most of the cases involve middle-aged or elderly people. Many people with more severe symptoms also had some other underlying condition. So far, 132 people have died from the virus, with the majority of these deaths occurring in Wuhan.  

What do we know about the Wuhan coronavirus?

• According to current information, several early cases of the epidemic are linked to time spent at a Wuhan market where live animals are sold. However, the source of the infections is not yet known.

• The virus can be transmitted from one person to another, but the level of contagiousness and period of infectiousness is not yet well understood.

• Coronaviruses are a set of viruses that have been detected in both humans and animals. They usually cause a mild respiratory infection. Serious cases have previously been caused by the SARS and MERS coronaviruses. The new coronavirus is genetically similar to the SARS coronavirus.

• Coronavirus infections can be prevented with good hand hygiene.

Source: THL