Germany, Japan report first human transmissions of coronavirus

Germany, Japan report first human-to-human transmission of coronavirus

Officials in Germany and Japan have announced that both countries have seen their first human-to-human transmissions of the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus that has killed more than 100 people and sickened thousands more in China.

Authorities in the German state of Bavaria said Monday in a statement that a man from Starnberg tested positive for the coronavirus. The case is believed to be the first in Europe involving a patient who caught the virus outside China.

Health officials said the 33-year-old man tested positive for the coronavirus after he attended a training session held by a work colleague who was visiting last week from China, according to the Agence France-Presse news agency. The colleague reported feeling ill two days after the training session while traveling back to China on Thursday, the AFP reported. She was later confirmed to have caught the virus, according to the news agency.

Content Continues Below

Andreas Zapf, head of the Bavarian state office for health and food safety, told the AFP that the infected German man was in a hospital isolation ward Monday but that he “was doing well.”

In Japan, authorities said Tuesday that a man in his 60s became infected with coronavirus while driving buses carrying tour groups from Wuhan, the epicenter of the viral outbreak, according to The Japan Times. His case marked the first human-to-human transmission reported in the country.

Officials with the World Health Organization have said that one other country, Vietnam, has seen a case of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus, Reuters reported.

Health officials have reported confirmed cases of coronavirus in three dozen countries, including the United States, Canada, France, Australia, Cambodia and Thailand, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Tuesday, more than 100 people have died in China due to coronavirus, according to The Associated Press. Health officials in the country said more than 4,500 cases of coronavirus have been reported since reports of the virus first surfaced last month. Nearly 1,000 of those infected in China were in serious condition, the AP reported.

Officials recommend that any people who have recently traveled to Wuhan and subsequently experienced flu-like symptoms -- including fever, coughing, shortness of breath or a sore throat -- contact their health care providers.

Christian Drosten, director of the institute for virology of Berlin's Charite hospital stands next to a centrifuge after an interview with the Associated Press on his researches on the coronavirus in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.
Christian Drosten, director of the institute for virology of Berlin's Charite hospital stands next to a centrifuge after an interview with the Associated Press on his researches on the coronavirus in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Michael Sohn/AP, File)