A case of the mysterious new coronavirus strain was identified in Thailand, marking the first infection outside of China.
The patient was a tourist from Wuhan, China, and is now recovering in a hospital in Thailand.
WHO stated that the situation of cases identified in other countries was not unexpected, and reinforced the calling for ongoing active monitoring and preparedness in other countries.
Since December, 41 patients have been hospitalized because of mysterious pneumonia in Wuhan, a megacity with a population of 11 million, which locates 700 miles south of Beijing, China.
Among the patients, 6 were considered severe and 1 died. More than 700 close contacts are being monitored for signs of the disease in China.
It is said that many of the patients worked in a large seafood market in Wuhan, where live animals were sold. The market has since been closed to investigate and sanitize the facility.
Chinese authorities believe they’ve identified a new coronavirus, a member of the family of viruses that caused SARS and MERS from the patients. They released a genetic sequence of the new coronavirus, which, according to WHO, may help other countries identify the disease more rapidly.
Symptoms of the disease include difficulty breathing, fever and lesions on the lungs, which were revealed through chest X-rays.
(Picture of MERS from Wikipedia)
For now, WHO is not issuing any travel guidance for Wuhan, but noted that heavy travel is expected During Chinese New Year, beginning January 25, which raises the risk of cases being reported outside of China.