Coronavirus structure, illustration. Coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections in humans and are connected with common colds, pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections in humans and are connected with common colds, pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome(Picture: Science Photo Library)

The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed the first case of the deadly coronavirus in the United States.

A CDC spokesman said the victim was a traveler from China who was diagnosed after arriving in Seattle, Washington.

The man is reportedly in stable condition and arrived in the US last week – before federal health officials began screening travelers from the Chinese city of Wuhan at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City.

Health officials have not yet identified the patient but said he did not have symptoms when he arrived in the US during a press conference on Tuesday.

The mysterious illness first appeared in China last month. It is known to have killed at least six people and sickened nearly 300 across Asia, according to The Washington Post.

epa08143668 Chinese residents wear masks while waiting at a bus station near the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been linked to cases of a new strain of Coronavirus identified as the cause of the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 20 January 2020. China reported on 20 January an additional death and surge of 139 new confirmed cases of the mysterious SARS-like virus linked to the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak, bringing the total number of cases to 198 with three deaths so far. EPA/STR CHINA OUT

Chinese residents wear masks while waiting at a bus station near the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been linked to cases of a new strain of Coronavirus. (Picture: EPA)

The outbreak reportedly began at a poultry and seafood market in Wuhan, which has a population of 11 million, but it has been spreading.

It is still unclear how easily the virus spreads, but evidence points seems to indicate that it can spread from person to person.

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Dr William Shaffner, a professor of preventative medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nasvhille, told The New York Times: ‘There are still more questions that we don’t know the answers to than things we do know.’

‘For example, what is the source? We don’t know exactly. The location likely was the live animal market, but we don’t know the particular animal,’ Shaffner said, adding that a more concerning question is: ‘How frequent is human-to-human transmissions.’

The World Health Organization is set to meet on Wednesday to decide whether to declare the outbreak as an international health emergency.

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