Wuhan virus: First coronavirus case confirmed in Germany

A poster informing travellers about the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV at the Tegel airport in Berlin, on Jan 26, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP, REUTERS) - Health authorities in Germany's southern Bavarian region have confirmed the country's first case of the deadly coronavirus spreading in China.

The virus, which can cause a pneumonia-like acute respiratory infection, has in a matter of weeks killed more than 80 people and infected some 2,740 in China, while cases have been identified in more than a dozen other countries.

"A man in the Starnberg region has been infected with the new coronavirus," a spokesperson for the ministry said, adding that the patient was under surveillance in an isolation ward.

The ministry gave no further details on how the patient came to be infected but said he was in a "medically good state".

"People who have been in contact (with the patient) have been informed in detail about possible symptoms, hygiene measures and transmission channels," the health department said.

France was the first European country to be affected by the outbreak, which has reported three known cases of the virus.

All three had recently travelled to China and have been placed in isolation.

Germany has recommended its citizens avoid "unnecessary" trips to China as the virus spreads.

The country is also considering the possible evacuation of its nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.

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