Coronavirus scare: British tourist contracted severe flu in Thailand, texted ‘I’m dying here’ to mother

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Chinese coronavirus scare: British tourist 32-year-old Ashley Shorley was struck down by a deadly disease, initially feared to be China's coronavirus, while he was in Thailand's Phi Phi Islands, according to a Yahoo! UK news report. While in the hospital, he sent his mother Julie a text saying, "I'm dying here," on December 27 last year, the report further stated. Ashley had fallen ill on the islands and had to be placed on a ventilator before his parents reached Thailand from Spain, where they were on vacation. When they reached their son, doctors told them that he was two days "away from death" and had he not been treated then, the infection could have reached his lungs.

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Ashley was initially thought to have contracted the coronavirus, but doctors ruled that out and said he was suffering from severe flu.

He was admitted to a local hospital on December 27, from where he was taken to a Phuket hospital by a speedboat on January 2, according to a report in Express UK. After this, he had to be airlifted to a Bangkok hospital on January 6. Julie and her husband Chris flew out to Thailand on January 4. The report quoted Julie as saying that Ashley had pneumonia and two collapsed lungs. Chris said on December 27, the doctors drained out 2 kg fluids from his lungs. While Ashley is now stable and recently walked for the first time since contracting the disease, he is still has a hole in his lung and needs assistance in breathing, a Yahoo! UK news report states.

Suffering from a Grade A Influenza, he is not allowed to travel home until he completely recovers.

Coronavirus has rapidly spread in China's Wuhan and is dangerous especially because its cause is still unknown. Coronavirus attacks the respiratory tract of a person, causing illnesses like the common cold, pneumonia, and severe infections like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which had killed 800 people in a 2003 global outbreak. The disease has so far killed 17 people and the number of cases has risen to 571.

With the disease having now also travelled to Japan and Thailand, Ashley's case caused an uproar over the fear that he may also have contracted the disease. If he had, in fact, contracted coronavirus, he would have been the first British to suffer from the new mysterious ailment, which in itself would be a cause for concern among health experts.

As it stands now, he is not suffering from coronavirus and is well on his way to recovery, thankfully!