Suspected coronavirus patient sparks panic by vanishing from hospital

Suspected coronavirus patient sparks panic and police search after sneaking out of Austrian hospital

  • The 31-year-old woman was found missing from a Salzburg hospital this morning
  • She had suffered breathing problems on a flight after recently being in Taiwan
  • Police found her at home but are trying to establish who she had contact with

A suspected coronavirus patient sparked a panicked police search after vanishing from a hospital in Austria last night. 

The 31-year-old woman, who had recently been to New Zealand via Taiwan, was found missing from a hospital in Salzburg at 3am this morning. 

The patient had checked into the hospital hours earlier after suffering breathing problems on a flight and provided a throat swab sample which has been sent for urgent testing in Vienna. 

Later on Wednesday she was found at her home in Salzburg and returned to hospital, but authorities are now investigating who she might have come into contact with. 

A suspected coronavirus patient sparked a panicked police search after vanishing from a hospital (pictured) in Salzburg, Austria, last night

The woman was found at her home around 10.30am, the city of Salzburg said – meaning she was gone from the hospital for more than seven hours. 

Authorities today granted permission for the woman to be kept under guard until her medical condition becomes clear.  

Investigators are now trying to establish where she went and who she might have come into contact with on her way. 

It is not yet clear exactly how the virus spreads, but suspected coronavirus patients are usually placed under strict quarantine. 

The results of the woman’s tests will be determined at a laboratory in Vienna and are expected to be sent back to Salzburg later today. 

Police had last night joined the search for the woman with authorities promising to do ‘everything necessary’ to find her. 

It is not yet clear exactly how the virus spreads, but suspected coronavirus patients are usually placed under strict quarantine (file photo: doctors look at a patient’s CT scan in Wuhan) 

The Salzburg university hospital said yesterday that the woman had been admitted to an isolation ward after she suffered breathing problems on a flight. 

The woman had flown out to New Zealand via Taiwan, and called for medical help after showing possible coronavirus symptoms on her way home. 

Taiwan has confirmed 11 cases of the virus.  

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that difficulty breathing can be a symptom of the virus, along with fever and coughing.  

The woman was brought to the hospital by an emergency vehicle which was specially equipped for infectious cases, medics said.  

Austria has not yet had a confirmed coronavirus patient, although there have been a handful of suspected cases – some of which are still awaiting test results. 

Neighbouring Germany has 12 confirmed cases, while Italy has two.  

Source: Read Full Article