South Korea confirms its first case of coronavirus in Chinese visitor

A 35-year-old female resident of Wuhan, China, who flew into the Incheon international airport showed symptoms of the coronavirus

South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) on Monday has confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus that broke out in China, December 2019. A 35-year-old Chinese woman, who is a resident of Wuhan in China, flew into the Incheon international airport from Wuhan City. KCDC said in a statement that after entering South Korea, she displayed symptoms such as high fever and since then she has been kept in isolation.

As of now, over 200 people have been confirmed as suffering from the new virus that broke out in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, including two in Thailand and one in Japan, while three people have died, stoking concerns about its spread.

"The confirmed patient was identified in the quarantine phase and there is no community exposure. Those that have come in contact, including passengers and aircraft crew, are currently being investigated," KCDC said but it did not give details of the woman's flight.

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Had sought treatment of cold in Wuhan

The patient told South Korean authorities she felt symptoms such as fever, chills and muscle pain on Saturday, and had received a cold prescription at a hospital in Wuhan, the KCDC said.

The KCDC raised its infection alert level from "attention" to "caution" following the first confirmed case of the virus and will expand monitoring. South Korean city and provincial governments will operate an emergency quarantine system around the clock, including during the Lunar New Year holiday which begins later this week.

Outbreak in Wuhan

Last month, Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Committee said in a statement that as of December 31, 2019, there have been 27 confirmed cases of pneumonia in the city. Of the 27 cases, seven were said to be in critical condition. While two patients were recovering and are expected to be released soon. However, as of 5 January 2019, there have been 59 reported cases of the mystery illness. This is a sharp rise from the 44 reported cases as it was last week.

(With agency inputs)