Coronavirus: Germany confirms first human-to-human case in Europe

Germany and Japan have announced cases of person-to-person coronavirus transmission outside China.

The news raises concerns about the global spread of the flu-like virus, which broke out in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year and has killed 106 people and infected more than 2,800 people.

Germany declared its first confirmed case of the coronavirus after a 33-year-old man contracted it from a colleague visiting his workplace from Shanghai.

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Germany has confirmed its first person-to-person case of the virus. Picture: SWNS

German car parts supplier Webasto yesterday said the man, an employee at its headquarters in Stockdorf, had become infected following the visit of an employee from China. A day earlier it said an employee from Shanghai tested positive for the virus upon returning to China.

The head doctor at the clinic where the man is being treated told a news conference the patient was awake and responsive and he did not think the man’s life was at risk.

Martin Hoch, the head of an infectiology taskforce, said the man had been in close contact with at least 40 colleagues and family members, adding that number could rise.

In Japan, a coach driver has been infected with the new coronavirus after coming into contact with Chinese visitors.

The man in his 60s from Nara prefecture had contact with people from the central Chinese city of Wuhan - the epicentre of the outbreak - between 8 - 16 January, Japan’s health ministry said.

The Japanese driver began showing symptoms on 14 January and was hospitalised 11 days later, according to the health ministry. The driver had been in close contact with 18 people.

Vietnam has also reported a cases of human to human transmission.

The infection is though to spreads in droplets from coughs and sneezes and has an incubation period of 1-14 days.

Confirmation of any sustained human-to-human spread of the virus outside of China, as well as any documented deaths, would bolster the case for reconvening the World Health

Organisation’s Emergency Committee to consider again whether to declare a public health emergency of international concern.