The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has confirmed there has been a third case of novel coronavirus infection.
The patient, a UK resident, has no recent travel history and is recovering from mild respiratory problems. It is believed that the infection was transmitted from person-to-person.
This takes the global number of cases to 12, with four of them being diagnosed in Britain.
Head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA, Professor John Watson, said that as a precaution the HPA has recommended the patient self-isolate and limit contact with people.
Investigations into the patient’s household members and contacts is currently being carried out, he added.
Professor Watson stressed that although this case was the result of contact with an infected individual, the risks to the British population remain low.
“If novel coronavirus were more infectious, we would have expected to have seen a larger number of cases than we have seen since the first case was reported three months ago.
“However, this new development does justify the measures that were immediately put into place to prevent any further spread of infection and to identify and follow up contacts of known cases,” he said.
Going forward, Prof Watson explained that the HPA will now collaborate with national and international health authorities and share further advice with healthcare workers and the public if more information becomes available.