A traveller in Thailand has become the first person outside China to be diagnosed with a new coronavirus.

The Chinese woman was quarantined after arriving in Bangkok from Wuhan, in eastern China, where the outbreak began in December.

One person has died and 41 pneumonia-like cases have been recorded so far.

Coronaviruses can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to viruses such as Sars, which killed hundreds during an outbreak in 2002-3.

According to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, the female passenger arrived in Thailand on 8 January, where she was hospitalised. No other passengers were infected, it said, adding that the traveller was now ready to return to Wuhan.

Separately on Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said for the first time that there appeared to have been limited person-to-person transmission of the virus, according to Reuters news agency.

Many earlier cases of the virus had reportedly been linked to a fish market in Wuhan.

The new case in Thailand comes just ahead of a major travel period in China, as hundreds of millions of people prepare to travel for Chinese New Year.


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