A Chinese man has caught the killer coronavirus within just 15 seconds of standing next to an infected woman at a market.
The unidentified 56-year-old, known only as 'patient five', stood close to 'patient two' – a 61-year-old carrier of the deadly SARS-like infection.
Jiangbei Health Commission, the man's local authority, revealed neither patient wore a face mask to protect themselves.
Officials have confirmed the man caught the virus – which has struck nearly 30,000 people worldwide – after his brief encounter with the infected woman.
More than 560 people have now died in the outbreak, which has spread to almost 30 countries or territories outside of China, including the UK and US.
It comes as scientists announced today they are finally on the verge of naming the never-before-seen virus, which can spread through coughs and sneezes.
The unidentified 56-year-old, known only as 'patient five', stood close to 'patient two' – a 61-year-old carrier of the deadly infection at the Shuangdongfang market (pictured) in Ningbo
The man, who is thought to be from the coastal city of Ningbo, stood inside a booth with the infected woman at 7.47am local time (pictured, the market)
More than 560 people have now died in the outbreak, which has spread to almost 30 countries or territories outside of China, including the UK and US
What is this virus?
The virus has been identified as a new type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of pathogens, most of which cause mild lung infections such as the common cold.
But coronaviruses can also be deadly. SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is caused by a coronavirus and killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in the early 2000s.
Can the Wuhan coronavirus kill?
Yes – Almost 500 people have so far died after testing positive for the virus.
What are the symptoms?
Some people who catch the Wuhan coronavirus may not have any symptoms at all, or only very mild ones like a sore throat or a headache. Others may suffer from a fever, cough or trouble breathing.
And a small proportion of patients will go on to develop severe infection which can damage the lungs or cause pneumonia, a life-threatening condition which causes swelling and fluid build-up in the lungs.
How is it detected?
The virus's genetic sequencing was released by scientists in China and countries around the world have used this to create lab tests, which must be carried out to confirm an infection.
Delays to these tests, to test results and to people getting to hospitals in China, mean the number of confirmed cases is expected to be just a fraction of the true scale of the outbreak.
How did it start and spread?
The first cases identified were among people connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.
Cases have since been identified around China and are known to have spread from person to person.
Is it similar to anything we've ever seen before?
Experts have compared it to the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The epidemic started in southern China and killed more than 700 people in mainland China, Hong Kong and elsewhere.
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Officials are tracking the 14-day history of the 56-year-old man, who caught the virus at the Shuangdongfang market on January 23.
The man, who is thought to be from the coastal city of Ningbo, stood inside a booth with the infected woman at 7.47am local time. It is unclear how officials know he only stood next to her for