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16 Jan 2020 | 04:53 AM UTC

Japan: One confirmed case of viral pneumonia January 16

Authorities announce first confirmed case of viral pneumonia on Japanese territory as of January 16; take precautionary measures

health
JPN

Event

The Ministry of Health announced on Thursday, January 16, that the first confirmed case of the viral pneumonia that broke out in Wuhan (Hubei, China) in December 2019 has been confirmed on Japanese territory. The patient, a Chinese national who had recently returned from Wuhan, has reportedly recovered and has been discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, January 15. 

No immediate evidence of human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. However, health officials also said that most of the unexplained viral pneumonia cases in Wuhan have a history of exposure to the South China seafood market.

Context

Experts from the National Health Commission have identified the pneumonia as a new strain of coronavirus. As of January 14, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission (WMHC) has reported 41 confirmed cases and one associated death in Wuhan (Hubei province).

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Individuals travelling from Wuhan are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate additional security checks at the airport, take hygienic measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus (frequent hand washing, face mask, avoid contact with potential carriers of the disease), avoid contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections, avoid contact with dead of living animals as well as consumption uncooked animal products, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

People developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention.