A man in Washington state has been diagnosed with the mysterious virus, the first case reported in the United States since the pneumonia-like illness first appeared last month in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, people familiar with the investigation said.
The man, who is in stable condition, flew to the United States from China before federal health officials began screening travelers at three major U.S. airports.
In Australia, a Brisbane man is in isolation after returning from a Chinese province with a respiratory illness.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the Brisbane man is recovering at home but will undergo further tests for the new coronavirus, which has already proved deadly overseas.
A Queensland Health spokesman said the man has recently returned from Central China with a respiratory illness.
"Because the man travelled to Wuhan, Coronavirus is one of the conditions he is being tested for," he said. "The man will remain in isolation until his symptoms have resolved."
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The new cases reinforce the threat posed by the virus, which has spread across China.
Face masks sold out and officials at airports and train stations checked passengers for fevers as China on Tuesday sought to control the outbreak of the new virus that has reached four other countries and territories and threatens to spread further during the Lunar New Year travel rush.
Anxiety grew both at home and abroad after Chinese government expert Zhong Nanshan confirmed fears on state television late Monday that the new type of coronavirus can spread from human to human.
Six people have died and 291 have been infected in China, the National Health Commission said Tuesday.
The stock prices of some companies that sell masks rose Tuesday, but markets fell in much of Asia as investors worried about the potential impact on tourism and the economy.
Concerned about a global outbreak similar to SARS, another coronavirus that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-2003, numerous nations have adopted screening measures for travelers from China, especially those arriving from Wuhan, the central city where the virus appears to have originated.
-Additional reporting, AP