- Woman from Wuhan, China, where virus originated, tests positive after checks at Incheon airport
- Health authorities are monitoring other passengers who shared her flight
South Korea on Monday reported its first confirmed case of the China coronavirus, fuelling concerns that the pneumonia-like illness could be spreading across Asia.
A 35-year-old woman trying to enter the country from Wuhan, China, where the virus is thought to have originated, tested positive after being screened for symptoms at Incheon International Airport on Sunday.
"She was immediately separated for treatment in quarantine at a state-designated hospital," said the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Among the symptoms she displayed were a high body temperature and respiratory difficulties.
The woman had been treated at a hospital in Wuhan for respiratory problems before boarding her flight, the public health and safety agency said.
Health authorities said they were monitoring other people who came into contact with her on the three-hour flight " including other passengers and flight crew members.
The KCDC cautioned travellers to Wuhan against visiting market places or medical facilities that might have been contaminated with the virus, urging them to avoid contact with uncooked meat or chicken.
"We will step up preventive measures to the same extent as MERS," KCDC head Chung Eun-gyeong said at a live press conference, referring to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which killed more than 30 people in South Korea in 2015.
China reports third death from Wuhan virus, confirms infection is spreading
She added there was "little chance" that the patient would spread the virus.
Korean health authorities have vowed to be on their guard throughout the Lunar New Year holiday period, during which tens of thousands of Chinese tourists are expected to visit.
While there have been some calls online for a ban on flights to and from Wuhan, businessman Chung Jung-ho said he and his company employees who often travelled to southern China had taken the news in their stride.
"I've been following the news closely. This does not seem to be as severe as the SARS outbreaks in the past," he told the South China Morning Post."However, if I have to visit Wuhan for business reasons or whatever, I would think twice."
China coronavirus: Beijing breaks its silence, but only to 'deny rumours'
Chinese authorities on Monday said another person had died over the weekend from the Wuhan coronavirus, bringing the death count to three, and for the first time officially announced infections in other areas in China.
It came as the World Health Organisation (WHO) said there was an indication that the pneumonia-like virus " thought to have originated in a seafood and animal meat market in Wuhan " could spread through human-to-human transmission.
China's National Health Commission said two people in Beijing were confirmed as being infected, along with one in Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong.
China coronavirus: Hong Kong urged to step up measures as new cases suspected
Suspected cases were also reported on Monday, with eight people under quarantine in Shenzhen and five in the coastal province of Zhejiang, which neighbours Shanghai.
Wuhan reported the death of a patient with the virus and more than 130 new infections over the weekend alone, taking the total in the central Chinese city to 198.
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