By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa reported today on the first coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19 case in the country in a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife.

Image/Alvaro1984 18

They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020.

The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough. The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab.

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The patient has been self-isolating since March 3. The couple also has two children.

The Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor. The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from NICD. The doctor has been self-isolated as well.

It is important to note that the identification of a single imported case in a traveller from an area with widespread community transmission does not mean that COVID-19 is currently spreading in South African communities. The risk to the general community of acquiring COVID-19 remains low.