Philippines probing possible case of Chinese virus

File Photo: Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III gestures as he answers questions from reporters in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

The Philippines was probing on Tuesday its potential first case of the SARS-like virus that has infected hundreds in China, health authorities said.

A five-year-old child arrived in the Philippines January 12 from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the disease was discovered, and has been hospitalised since with flu symptoms.

While the child tested positive for a virus, authorities in Manila say they are not sure if it is the same one that has killed four people in China and sickened people in three other Asian countries.

"The child is considered a person under investigation," Philippine health secretary Francisco Duque told a press briefing in Manila.

Samples from the child were sent to a lab in Australia for further testing and authorities are awaiting the results, he added.

The child was already showing symptoms like fever, throat irritation and cough before arriving in the central city of Cebu with a parent, the health department said.

Three other travellers from China were checked by authorities at another airport, but they did not show symptoms that corresponded with the warning issued by the World Health Organization about the virus from Wuhan.