A Chinese tourist has become the first person to die in Europe of the deadly coronavirus.
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn has confirmed an 80-year-old man from Hubei province - the epicentre of the viral outbreak - died in France of the disease.
The man had arrived in France on January 16 and was quarantined on January 25, the BBC reported.
More than 1500 people have died from the virus in China, but only three deaths outside China have been reported in Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines.
Over 66,000 people have been infected worldwide, the vast majority of them in China.
What is coronavirus?
The new coronavirus belongs to the same family of viruses that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a disease that killed 800 people globally in a 2002-03 pandemic that also started in China.
Scientists in China said the new coronavirus may have been transmitted during the illegal trade of wild animals. China's Disease Control and Prevention Centre director Gao Fu said the virus is believed to have originated at a market in Wuhan, from where it mutated and became transmissible from person to person.
"From what we know, the source was the wild animals sold at the seafood market," Gao said. "The virus of this wild animal is gradually mutating."
What are the symptoms?
The viruses can make people sick, usually with symptoms similar to a common cold, such as a runny nose, cough, sore throat, headaches and fever, which can last for a couple of days. For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, the virus can cause pneumonia or bronchitis.
How did it start and where did it come from?
The current outbreak is believed to have started from people who picked it up at a fresh food market in the city of Wuhan in central China. Some of the first infected patients ran businesses in the market, meaning it's possible they were infected by animals there. The market has been suspended.
Can I catch it and how does it spread?
A Chinese government team has confirmed this coronavirus is spread by human-to-human transmission. Depending on how virulent the virus is, a cough, sneeze or handshake could cause exposure. The virus can also be transmitted by touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Is there a cure?
There is no specific treatment. Most of the time, symptoms will go away on their own. There is no vaccine to protect against this family of viruses, at least not yet.
-with Mark Saunokonoko
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-france-death-first-outside-asia/f51e3e79-f394-4931-bbeb-266a8255542c