The World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that Japan confirmed a case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the second case found outside China three days after the confirmation of the first one in Thailand.
Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare informed the WHO on Thursday that the case was a man who had traveled to the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Given the global travel patterns, the WHO warned that additional cases are likely to occur in other countries.
Currently much remains to be understood about the new coronavirus, which was first identified in China earlier this month, the WHO said, adding that definitive conclusions about its transmission modes, clinical features, source of infection, or spreading extent have yet to be given.
While encouraging all countries to continue to prepare for disease prevention, the WHO also provided guidance on how to monitor cases, treat patients, prevent onward transmission in healthcare facilities, maintain necessary supplies and communicate with the public about 2019-nCoV.
The WHO is currently developing and updating such information in consultation with networks of experts across the globe.
The WHO advised against the application of any travel or trade restrictions based on available information.
Earlier on Monday, Thailand confirmed the first 2019-nCoV case outside China. The person was a traveler from Wuhan to Thailand, and was identified by Thai officials on Jan. 8 and then hospitalized later in the day.
According to the WHO, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). 2019-nCoV is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.