Though not much is known about the new virus, it doesn't appear to spread easily, since no illnesses were reported among several hundred health care workers caring for the patients, according to Chinese authorities.
In southern Guangdong province, a 66-year-old Shenzhen man was quarantined on January 11 after contracting a fever and showing other symptoms following a trip to visit relatives in Wuhan, the provincial health commission said in a statement.
Fears that the virus may spread Likewise have grown as China prepares to celebrate its New Year, with hundreds of millions of people moving across the country and visiting their families overseas.
As of late Sunday, 198 cases had been reported in Wuhan in total, including three deaths.
Thailand has reported two cases and Japan has reported one.
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China's 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS - another coronavirus - was believed to have originated through animal-to-human transmission in a similar marketplace.
A report by London Imperial College's MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis estimated that by January 12 there were 1,723 cases in Wuhan City with the onset of related symptoms.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Twitter Monday that "an animal source seems the most likely primary source" with "some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts". The holiday involves massive internal travel, a fact that could make watching for respiratory infections in people who have been to Wuhan an increasingly ineffective way to monitor for spread of the virus.
Beijing said on Sunday it will increase efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, while health authorities around the world are working to prevent its spread.
Epidemiological analysis of previously published cases found that some cases had no exposure to Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which is believed to be related to most of the infected cases. The city's mayor, Ying Yong, said in a press conference Monday morning that local authorities are dealing with suspected infections and will provide up-to-date information in the event of confirmed cases.
The United States has implemented additional checks for passengers arriving from Wuhan at airports in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Popular airports in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Malaysia have also begun to test passengers from Wuhan. Authorities have confirmed death of three persons form the virus till now.