Mysterious Lung Virus has Spread to Japan

A case of a mysterious respiratory tract infection related to the deadly Sars virus, first discovered in China, has been detected in Japan, authorities confirm.

This is the second time the virus has been detected outside China. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that a woman in Thailand is infected with the same virus.

In China, one person is dead and over 40 sick after a new type of coronavirus broke out in Wuhan. A seafood market is said to have been the source of the outbreak, and it was closed on January 1.

– The first time pneumonia is associated with the virus
Japan’s health minister says a man who visited Wuhan was hospitalized on January 10. He must have had persistent fever, and tests showed the man was infected with the virus. The patient, who was discharged from hospital Wednesday, states that he has not visited the Chinese fish market.

“This is the first time a pneumonia associated with the virus has been detected in Japan,” the Health Ministry said.

Opens for the virus to spread between humans
Japanese health authorities are working with WHO to assess the risk. The outbreak has caused alarm because the new virus is similar to the SARS virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which killed 349 people in China and 299 in Hong Kong in 2002 and 2003.

Chinese authorities said on Wednesday that the virus may have spread among family members, opening up the likelihood of the virus spreading among humans.