Updated Feb 2, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus: First reported death outside of China

Filipinos line up to buy face masks in Manila on Friday. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

A 44-year-old man — who was a Wuhan resident but died in the Philippines Saturday — has become the first person outside of China to die from the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed in a statement.

This is the first reported case outside of China. However, we need to keep in mind that he came from Wuhan, China."
Statement by Rabi Abeyasinghe, WHO representative in the Philippines

Details: The man was one of two confirmed cases of the virus in the Philippines, per the statement.

  • Both patients are residents of Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, and both cases had been in close contact.
  • The man who died was found to have "mixed pathogens" in his system — including Streptococcus pneumoniae and viral influenza B, said Rabi Abeyasinghe, the WHO's representative in the Philippines.
  • The Philippines Department of Health was "rapidly identifying those who may have come into close contact with the cases," the WHO said.

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Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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