Chinese health officials carefully tracking the 14-day history of a confirmed novel coronavirus patient say the man contracted the killer disease by standing near an infected person for just 15 seconds.
The 56-year-old male patient had had no previous contact with animals and was not acquainted with any confirmed carriers of the virus in his native district of Jiangbei, which is the coastal city of Ningbo in East China’s Zhejiang Province.
A report by the Jiangbei Health Commission said the man named only as ‘patient 5’ stood next to a confirmed female carrier – 61-year-old ‘patient 2’ – at a booth inside Shuangdongfang market on 23rd January.
The report noted that at 7:47am local time, patient 5 came in brief contact with patient 2 for just 15 seconds while neither was wearing a surgical mask.
The same morning, patient 5 then went on to visit two more supermarkets and finally a restaurant before he was diagnosed with the pneumonia-like Wuhan coronavirus on 4th February.
Jiangbei health officials said 19 individuals who had close contact with the five confirmed coronavirus patients – among 18 carriers in the city of Ningbo – have since been put in quarantine.
The number of isolated individuals stood at 92 as of 5th February, the commission said.
The Wuhan coronavirus strain has killed 563 people in mainland China and two others in Asia.
There are more than 28,200 confirmed cases worldwide.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.