Japan confirms 1st case of infection with new coronavirus from China

16, Jan. 2020

(Medical workers wait for disinfection after medical aid on
(Medical workers wait for disinfection after medical aid on "suspected case" during anti-MERS drill at Qingdao Port on June 18, 2015 in Qingdao, Shandong province of China)[VCG/Getty/Kyodo]

TOKYO, NNA - A Chinese man has tested positive in Japan's first case of a new coronavirus from China, the Japanese health ministry said Thursday.

The man in his 30s, a resident of Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, returned to Japan on Jan. 6 after traveling to Wuhan, central China where the outbreak of the new, pneumonia-like virus began in December, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The man was hospitalized last Friday, but was discharged Wednesday because he had recovered, it said.

The virus has infected dozens of people in Wuhan, with preliminary evidence suggesting the outbreak was associated with exposure in a seafood market.

Coronaviruses usually cause common-cold symptoms, infecting the nose, sinuses or upper throat, and are spread through sneezing, coughing or direct contact.

However, some types lead to more serious, sometimes deadly respiratory diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome or Middle East respiratory syndrome, commonly known as SARS and MERS, respectively. These syndromes were ruled out as the cause of the outbreak in Wuhan. (NNA/Kyodo)