Japan confirmed its first case of infection with China’s new coronavirus that killed a person and triggered a travel alert from the US state department.
A man in his 30s from Kanagawa Prefecture, along with Tokyo, tested positive after being treated for pneumonia, Japan’s health ministry said in a statement Thursday.
The man had been in Wuhan, in central China, where there has been an outbreak of pneumonia that is believed to be caused by the new strain of coronavirus, he said.
Officials in Wuhan said last weekend that 41 people had pneumonia caused by the virus and that a 61-year-old man had died.
The US Department of State UU. He issued a health alert update on Wednesday about trips to the Wuhan region, urging citizens traveling to the region to avoid contact with animals and animal markets or products, among other precautions.
On Wednesday, Thai health authorities said they were stepping up monitoring of passengers arriving at airports before the lunar new year holiday, when 800,000 Chinese tourists are expected to visit.
But authorities said the virus was not considered highly contagious and that simply passing or talking with patients would not be a concern.
However, the World Health Organization said the new virus could spread and warned hospitals around the world.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome, Sars. Some of the types of viruses cause less serious diseases, while others, such as the one that causes Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, Mers, are much more serious.
The Japanese patient returned from Wuhan this month with a fever and was hospitalized. He was released yesterday after symptoms subsided, the health ministry said.
Common symptoms include runny nose, headache, cough and fever. Shortness of breath, chills and body aches are associated with more dangerous types of coronaviruses.