JAPAN has detected a new strain of coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, days after Thailand confirmed its first case of infection, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The virus, in the same family as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), has killed one patient and sickened dozens in China.

In a statement, WHO said the source of the new virus was still unknown.

“Not enough is known about 2019-nCoV to draw definitive conclusions about how it is transmitted, clinical features of the disease, or the extent to which it has spread,” it added. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas