Wuhan pneumonia outbreak: First case reported outside China

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A tourist in Thailand has become the first person outside China diagnosed with a new, pneumonia-like virus that has already infected dozens of people.

The woman was quarantined after landing in Bangkok from Wuhan, eastern China, where the outbreak began in December.

One person has died and 41 cases of the virus have been recorded so far.

It has been identified as a coronavirus, which can cause illnesses ranging from common colds to potentially deadly Sars.

Sars – severe acute respiratory syndrome – killed more than 700 people around the world during an outbreak in 2002-3, after originating in China.

In total, it infected more than 8,000 people in 26 countries.

China has been free of Sars since May 2004.

According to the country’s official Xinhua news agency, the female passenger arrived in Thailand on 8 January, and was taken to hospital. No other passengers were infected, it said, adding that the traveller was now ready to return to Wuhan.

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Separately on Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said for the first time that there appeared to have been limited person-to-person transmission of the virus, according to Reuters news agency.

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