"It looks like it doesn't transmit through the air very easily and probably transmits through close contact", he said.
Initially it was suspected that Maheshwari may have been suffering from a new type of coronavirus.
A total of 201 people have now been diagnosed with the virus in China, and the outbreak has already claimed three lives. "The global community is very familiar with what happened with SARS in the past and this is something that is on our radar that is possible and what we need to prepare ourselves for", said Van Kerkhove. However, so far there is little evidence of significant human-to-human transmission, it said.
The SARS virus spread readily through close person-to-person contact.
Where did the outbreak originate?
Instead, they say, the virus has crossed the species barrier and come from infected animals at a seafood and wildlife market in Wuhan. In addition to typical ocean fees, there were reports that live birds and animals were sold on the market. Chinese health authorities have not commented on the report. They say it has led to an outbreak of viral pneumonia, but much about it remains unknown. To date, it has infected around 2,500 people and caused around 850 deaths. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome.
A second coronavirus-related death has been confirmed in Wuhan, according to a statement released by local authorities late last night.
Women wearing protective masks stand among festive decorations in a store ahead of the Lunar New Year in Shanghai, China, on January 23, 2020.
The Public Health Ministry has increased its monitoring at four airports that have daily flights from Wuhan - Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueng, Chiang Mai and Phuket - and any airports that receives charter flights from the city. The two cities with a combined population of 18 million people have barred inhabitants from air, train, ferry and subway travel.
Chinese authorities have said that the virus is spreading across the country to other cities, with two new cases confirmed in Beijing and one case in Shenzhen.
Is it a risk for Canada?
Currently, Health Canada has issued a Level 1 travel advice to Wuhan. This means that travelers should take common precautions, such as getting the proper vaccinations, washing their hands, avoiding unhealthy areas, and preventing mosquito bites.