A man who had travelled to Greece from Wuhan in China 20 days ago and who was admitted to AHEPA Hospital on Thursday showing symptoms similar to a novel coronavirus (also known as 2019-nCoV) infection Is probably suffering from flu.

AHEPA hospital authorities in Thessaloniki said the 63-year-old man, who had been to Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak 20 days ago, was admitted to the hospital on Thursday. They said the duration of his journey, his symptoms and DNA tests by the Pasteur Institute show that he was affected by flu not the coronavirus.

Symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to those of flu and it takes up to two weeks before the coronavirus becomes apparent often developing into pneumonia.

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AHEPA Hospital governor Panagiotis Pandeliadis said: “There is a suspected case. It is a suspicious incident and for this reason all necessary measures have been taken. The patient came to the hospital today (30 January) alone, as he had symptoms of influenza. He informed us that he had traveled to China some time ago, and for the sake of precautionary reasons, the intended procedure of isolating the incident was due to the appearance of symptoms.”

The Federation of Public Hospital Workers president, Michalis Giannakos said there four other cases of suspected coronavirus infection have been reported but test results  had proved negative.

The first was a 13-year-old Chinese boy who was tested at Santorini Airport and found to be suffering from flu. A Greek man was checked at Atticon Hospital in Athens and two others were tested at Sotiria Hospital. All were found not be carriers of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the National Organisation for Public Health has said that since October last year,  21 people died from flu in Greece – eight of whom died in the past week.