Coronavirus has been diagnosed in the German town of Erkelenz, local media report Tuesday. Erkelenz is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and is about 20 kilometers from the border with the Netherlands.
It is the first infection in North Rhine-Westphalia, a state with more than 17.5 million inhabitants.
According to local media, the contamination was confirmed by the Düsseldorf fire brigade and a senior official within the local Erkelenz regional administration.
Nothing is yet known about the identity of the person. It is also unclear whether the patient has traveled to a country where the outbreak has progressed further, such as Italy. The man was taken to Düsseldorf University Hospital in a special ambulance.
Earlier in the day, a 25-year-old man in the state of Baden-Württemberg also appeared to be infected. He had returned from Milan on 17 February.
COVID-19 virus infections have since been detected in six European countries: Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Croatia, Austria and France. The vast majority of infections were found in northern Italy, around Milan.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) considered the risk of corona virus infection in Europe to be still low to moderate on Tuesday, partly due to the rigorous measures being taken to contain the virus.
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