He said: 'Currently, it can be said it is affirmative that there is the phenomenon of human-to-human transmission'.
The man recently returned from Wuhan, China with a respiratory illness, and has been quarantined at home in Brisbane while officials await the results of testing that will identify if he has the condition. Authorities around the globe, including in the United States and many Asian countries, have stepped up screening of travellers from Wuhan, the central city where the virus was first discovered.
There have been no reported cases of the virus in Canada.
The count includes six deaths - all in China, majority age 60 or older, including at least some who had a previous medical condition.
Officials around the world have implemented similar airport screenings in hopes of containing the virus during the busy Lunar New Year travel season. They also confirmed cases in South Korea, Japan and Thailand.
People traveling from Wuhan will have their temperature checked and be asked about symptoms.
This coronavirus had never been identified in humans before the outbreak began in December.
SARS killed almost 800 people globally during the 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China, but Murphy said recent evidence indicated body-temperature screening was ineffective and created a false sense of security. It's also the same family of the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a respiratory illness that started in China in 2002 and went on to kill over 774 people around the world, primarily in Asia.
Analysis of the genetic code of the new virus shows it is more closely related to Sars than any other human coronavirus.
Scientists believed animal meat was the source of infection due to the majority of patients having worked or visited the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan city. Back in India, Health Ministry held a review meeting on Monday. On January 7, Chinese specialists determined the virus behind the infection - coronavirus 2019-nCoV.
The CDC began screening for the virus at worldwide airports in San Francisco, New York and LAX last week.
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