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UPDATE 2-Brazil confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America -source

Reuters | Updated: 26-02-2020 16:50 IST | Created: 26-02-2020 16:50 IST
UPDATE 2-Brazil confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America -source

A Brazilian government test has confirmed the first case of a fast-spreading new coronavirus in Latin America, a source said on Wednesday, after a Sao Paulo hospital flagged the possible infection of a 61-year-old who had visited Italy. The diagnosis comes during Brazil's carnival holiday, a peak time for domestic travel when millions of revellers throng major cities for boisterous street celebrations.

Brazil's Health Ministry declined to comment on the result of the test ahead of a news conference at 11 a.m. local time (1400 GMT). The person familiar with the matter spoke on condition of anonymity because the results were not yet public. The ministry said in a statement on Tuesday evening it was looking into the case of a Sao Paulo resident who had traveled to Lombardy, in northern Italy, from Feb. 9 to Feb. 21 and had symptoms compatible with the disease.

Italy has been most heavily affected by the outbreak in Europe, with more than 350 cases reported and 11 deaths. The Albert Einstein Hospital said in a statement that the man tested positive to a PCR real time test on Monday and it notified Sao Paulo state's epidemiological agency on Tuesday.

The new coronavirus is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China. Concerns over the economic impact of the disease have wiped out more than $3 trillion of value on tumbling stock markets over the past four trading sessions.

Brazil's stock market, which has been closed since last week due to the carnival holiday, is set to open at 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday. Brazilian shares in exchange-traded funds in New York have dropped nearly 6% this week.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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