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South Korean teen death not linked to virus: officials

  • Kim Arin

    The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

Seoul, South Korea   /   Thu, March 19, 2020   /   04:15 pm
South Korean teen death not linked to virus: officials A nurse checks a computer screen during a COVID-19 novel coronavirus test at a testing booth outside Yangji hospital in Seoul on Wednesday. (AFP/Ed JONES)

A teenage pneumonia patient who died Wednesday morning in Daegu was coronavirus-negative, health officials said Thursday.

In a briefing Thursday afternoon, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the 17-year-old’s death was not linked to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Medics at Yeungnam University Hospital in Daegu, where the patient was treated, tested him for COVID-19 several times, as his chest imaging showed signs of a possible infection. Results came out negative in nine of the tests and positive in one. 

The KCDC’s Vice Director Kwon Jun-wook said the agency as well as two hospitals conducted postmortem virus tests on the patient’s samples, including blood, urine and liquid from the lower respiratory tract. 

The virus was not detected in tests run by the three institutions. The earlier positive result appears to be due to a technical error or contamination at the lab, Kwon said.

The state clinical committee for emerging infectious diseases has concluded an autopsy was unnecessary, as the case was not a virus fatality. 

Yeungnam Hospital said the patient had no previous comorbidities or other health problems. His cause of death certificate attributes multiple organ failure.