It is confirmed that a patient in Japan has a new virus from China

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TOKYO (AP) – The government of Japan said Thursday that a man treated for pneumonia after returning from China tested positive for the new coronavirus identified as a possible cause of an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The man developed fever and cough on January 3 while in Wuhan, he returned to Japan on January 6 and was hospitalized four days later when the symptoms persisted, with his X-ray image showing signs of pneumonia, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Wellness, he said.

Tests on Tuesday found the same coronavirus that had been detected in other patients in the Wuhan outbreak, the ministry said.

Since then, the man was released from the hospital as his condition improved. He was only identified as a man in his 30s in Kanagawa Prefecture, west of Tokyo, and the Kyodo News agency says he is Chinese. His family and the medical staff who attended him have not become ill.

Officials in Wuhan said last weekend that 41 people had pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus and that a 61-year-old man had died, the first death known to the virus in China. The World Health Organization also said it was consulting with Thai and Chinese health authorities after a case was reported in Thailand from a Chinese traveler.

Eiji Hinoshita, an official in the ministry’s infectious diseases section, told reporters that the man told officials that he did not go to the fish market in Wuhan related to the pneumonia outbreak, but had “close contact” with At least one person with symptoms of pneumonia in a place where he stayed during the visit. Ministry officials are more controlling the activity of the patient and the people with whom he had contact in China and Japan since his return, Hinoshita said.

The news just before the lunar new year, when many Chinese tourists are expected to travel. The ministry is urging those who visit or return from Wuhan to wear masks and quickly go to medical institutions if they have a cough and fever. But authorities said the virus is not considered highly contagious and that ignoring or talking to patients would not be a concern.

China has tried to minimize speculation that it could be a reappearance of the SARS epidemic, which killed hundreds in 2002 and 2003.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold. Others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved to cause more serious diseases.

Common symptoms include runny nose, headache, cough and fever. Shortness of breath, chills and body aches are associated with more dangerous types of coronaviruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. UU.

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Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

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