Tracking China's SARS-like coronavirus

South Korea confirmed the first case of new coronavirus in a Chinese visitor. The new virus has caused alarm due to the spectre of SARS, which in 2002-2003 killed 349 people in mainland China.

Caused by human-to-human contact

The virus, as opposed to what was presumed, spreads from person-to-person, and causes a type of pneumonia. The Chinese recently confirmed that more than 200 cases of the virus have been reported, with four deaths in the city of Wuhan.


Mystery pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan

January 11: China reported its first death from the mystery pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan where 41 people have been diagnosed with similar symptoms.

A 61-year-old man had become the first person to die from a respiratory illness believed to be caused by a new virus from the same family as SARS, which claimed hundreds of lives more than a decade ago in China and Hong Kong.

Seven others remained in serious condition, two were discharged from treatment, and the rest were stable, it added.

At least 41 more people with pneumonia-like symptoms have so far been diagnosed with the new virus in Wuhan, with one of the victims dying on Thursday, the central Chinese city's health commission said on its website.


Reported in Thailand

January 13: The World Health Organization confirmed the first case in Thailand of a new virus from the same family as SARS, that is behind the Chinese pneumonia outbreak.

The UN health agency said a person travelling from Wuhan, China, had been hospitalised in Thailand on January 8 after being diagnosed with mild pneumonia.





Reported in Japan

January 16: Japan's health ministry said a man who had visited the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, was hospitalised on January 10, four days after his return to Japan.

He reported a persistent fever.

Tests on the patient, who was released from hospital on Wednesday, confirmed he was infected with the new virus.


US begins health screening

January 18: US authorities begins screening passengers for China mystery virus.

Travelers from Wuhan to the United States undergo entry screening for symptoms associated with the new coronavirus at three airports: San Francisco, New York's JFK and Los Angeles.


Virus spreads across China

China reported SARS-like virus across the country with nearly 140 new cases including three people in serious condition, heightening fears ahead of China's Lunar New Year holiday when hundreds of millions of people move around the country.



Reported in South Korea

January 20: South Korea confirmed first case of new coronavirus in Chinese visitor.

The patient is a 35-year-old Chinese woman and resident of Wuhan, China who flew from Wuhan to Incheon international airport on Sunday, South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement. 

"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," the statement said.