Mystery SARS-Like Virus Spreads To Japan

A new mystery disease which has sickened dozens in Wuhan, China has made its way into Japan, after a Chinese national traveled from the eastern Chinese city to his home in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, according to the Japan Times.

The man, in his 30s, returned from Wuhan on January 6, and was hospitalized four days later where he recovered and was discharged on Wednesday, according to a hospital official.

On Monday, the World Health Organization announced that the new coronavirus with SARS-like pneumonia symptoms had struck a woman traveling from China to Thailand - after she was hospitalized January 8th.

Chinese officials said on Wednesday that human-to-human infection cannot be ruled out after forty-one people received a preliminary diagnosis of the new coronavirus, after a 61-year-old man died of the disease on Saturday.

While preliminary investigations indicate that most of the patients had worked at or visited a particular seafood wholesale market, one woman may have contracted the virus from her husband, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a public notice.

The commission said the husband, who fell ill first, worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Meanwhile, the wife said she hasn't had any exposure to the market.

It's possible that the husband brought home food from the market that then infected his wife, Hong Kong health official Chuang Shuk-kwan said at a news briefing. But because the wife did not exhibit symptoms until days after her husband, it's also possible that he infected her. -CBS News

That said, authorities believe the risk of human-to-human transmission remains low. Still, the US Embassy in Beijing issued an alert to Americans traveling in China last week, warning anyone who has been to Wuhan to avoid contact with all animals and sick people, and to wash their hands frequently.