Pedestrians wear protective masks as they walk through a shopping district in Tokyo Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. Japan's government…
Pedestrians wear protective masks as they walk through a shopping district in Tokyo, Jan. 16, 2020.

Japan has confirmed its first case of a strain of a coronavirus that has killed one man and sickened 41 others in China since last month.

The Health Ministry says a man in his 30s who lives in Kanagawa prefecture was hospitalized last week suffering from a persistent cough and a fever, which developed  after visiting the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. The ministry says the man has since recovered and been released.

This is the second reported case of the virus outside of China, after a Chinese woman traveling in Thailand was diagnosed with the virus.  Neither person had visited the seafood market in Wuhan that has been identified as the center of the outbreak and that had sparked fears that the virus could spread through human-to-human transmission.

The virus is a new strain of the same family of viruses that caused the outbreak of several acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, that killed over 600 people in China and Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003.  The detection of this outbreak comes ahead of the Lunar New Year, when hundreds of millions of Chinese normally travel.