The new type of pneumonia found in the Chinese city of Wuhan has been confirmed to have passed from person to person.
Chinese state media CCTV reported on Wednesday, that a man who was infected at a fish market in Wuhan seems to have transmitted the disease to his wife.
Unlike other patients who worked at the fish market, the wife denies she had visited the market.
With the new case, Chinese health authorities warned for the first time that they can not exclude the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission of the pneumonia, whose source is believed to be a new type of coronavirus.
Concerns grow as this is contradictory to its previous statement that the virus in Wuhan has not spread between people.
And an earlier case in Thailand is adding to worries over the spread of the virus.
A female tourist from Wuhan said she had not gone to the fish market which is the suspected origin of the pneumonia.
In addition to the cases outside China in Thailand and South Korea Japan has also reported a patient with the same symptoms who was ultimately discharged from the hospital.
Concerned voices have risen about Tokyo's hosting of this year's Summer Olympics, but Japan's health ministry said that there's a low possibility that the patient was contagious since there were no infections among his family members or medical assistants.
The Chinese government is on alert over the spread of the virus ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, when millions of people are expected to be on the move.
The WHO, which has been voicing support for the way Chinese authorities have been controlling the situation, is also closely watching the developments.
The WHO has raised its alert to a higher level and is preparing for the possibility of a wider outbreak.
It said even without definite evidence of human-to-human transmission, more research is necessary and the conclusion cannot be final.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.