Four members of a Chinese family who arrived in the United Arab Emirates from the city of Wuhan have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, the first known cases in the Middle East, the UAE health ministry said on Wednesday.
He said it was important to step up preventive measures in Japan, but "I hope we can also provide support for the Chinese people, while we also help Japanese people who are still there".
As with other respiratory illnesses, symptoms of coronavirus include fever, dry cough, sore throat and headache, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
"We are in touch with all our citizens", Onen said.
The CDC also expanded airport screenings for the coronavirus from five to twenty airports, and intensified their travel guidance, advising Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to China.
Fears of the spreading virus have already pushed airlines to reduce flights to China.
Countries on Wednesday began evacuating their citizens from the Chinese city hardest-hit by an outbreak of a new virus.
Authorities in Queensland, Australia confirmed the first case of the virus had been recorded in the state on Wednesday, bringing the total number in the country to seven.
"During SARS, there was not a huge amount of information coming out of China", he said, referring to a 2003 outbreak of an earlier coronavirus that emerged from China, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing almost 800.
Coronaviruses - a large family of viruses that live in animals and every now and then jump the species barrier and infect humans - are not as infectious as influenza or the measles, said Henry, and must be inhaled deeply into the lungs.
Most cases are considered mild to moderate, with a subset of patients who experience more severe illness, with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
Europe's biggest bank, HSBC, banned all staff travel to Chinese-ruled Hong Kong for two weeks and to mainland China until further notice, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
Experts worry the new virus may spread more easily than originally thought, or may have mutated into a form that does so.
Following the Xi-Tedros talks, the World Health Organization said the two sides had agreed to send worldwide experts to China "as soon as possible.to guide global response efforts".
It said discussions focused on ways to co-operate to contain the virus in Wuhan and other cities and provinces and studies that could contribute to the development of medical countermeasures such as vaccines and treatments. The other two patients, a husband and wife who flew from Guangzhou to Toronto after a visit to Wuhan, are in isolation in hospital and at home, respectively.
Dr. Henry said the risk of spread of this virus within B.C. remains low.