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.
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 15 seconds.
Doctors claim he had had no previous contact with animals and was not acquainted with any other confirmed carriers of the virus.
After his encounter with the infected woman, he visited two more supermarkets and finally a restaurant before he was diagnosed on February 4.
Jiangbei health officials said 19 individuals who had close contact with the patients – among 18 carriers in the city of Ningbo – have been quarantined.
China is scrambling to find bed space for thousands of newly infected patients, it was revealed today.
The locked-down city of Wuhan, in the coronavirus-ravaged Hubei province, is due to open a second field hospital offering 1,600 beds.
The first hospital, with 1,000 beds, opened earlier this week to allow doctors more space to treat the thousands that have been struck down.
Authorities have said they are converting public buildings into temporary medical facilities to deal with the influx of sick people.
It was also revealed today that Tencent, the second largest company in China, may have inadvertently leaked the true extent of the coronavirus death toll.
The tech conglomerate reportedly listed figures for the coronavirus showing 154,023 were infected and 24,589 dead on Saturday.
Tencent's webpage titled 'Epidemic Situation Tracker' was swiftly updated to reflect the official figures of 14,446 infected and 304 dead, Taiwan News reported.
It comes amid widespread speculation that the Communist Party in Beijing may be suppressing the ravages of the deadly flu-like virus.
Although the subject of news articles, social media posts and political discussions throughout the past month, the coronavirus that is rapidly sweeping the world has not yet got an approved name.
It has been dubbed 2019-nCoV, which means it is a novel (new) type of coronavirus discovered in 2019, but this is just a temporary placeholder.
Other unofficial names for it have emerged, including the China coronavirus, Wuhan coronavirus and even the inaccurate 'snake flu'.
But scientists at the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) say they have chosen a name for the bug and submitted it for official approval.
The experts have not yet revealed the name they settled on – but say it could be announced within days.
It must not contain geography, human names or cultural references to avoid abusive backlash or potential racism.
Yesterday, it was revealed that a Chinese baby born to a Wuhan coronavirus patient had been diagnosed with the deadly disease 30 hours after being delivered.
Doctors in China said they feared that the infection could be passed from mothers to their babies in the womb.
The news came after experts claimed that the virus might also be spread by faeces.
The infected child, whose gender was not been revealed, was born in Wuhan on Sunday. Their mother had been confirmed to have the coronavirus before going into labour.
Medics gave the baby a test 30 hours later and the result turned out to be positive.
The baby was then transferred to the Wuhan Children's Hospital, which has been appointed by the government to treat all infected children.
The three-day-old baby's condition was stable and it was being closely monitored, the hospital announced through a post on its official social media account today.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.