The ability of a new coronavirus to spread is getting stronger, China's National Health Commission said on Sunday (January 26), as authorities in the country and around the world scramble to prevent a pandemic.
More than 2,000 people have been infected globally, and dozens in China have been killed by the disease.
This the latest from the country's Health Commission Minister.
(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINA HEALTH COMMISSION MINISTER MA XIAOWEI, SAYING:
"From our observation, the disease can be spread during the incubation period. The incubation period lasts for 10 days."
The fact the virus is infectious during incubation makes it different from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, a coronavirus that originated in China and killed nearly 800 people worldwide in 2002 and 2003.
A handful of cases have been reported outside China, including in Thailand, Australia, the United States and France - with health authorities around the world racing to prevent a pandemic.
On Sunday, Paris based Chinese associations canceled a parade, with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo saying they are "really not in a mood to party now".
China says knowledge of the virus is limited and that containment efforts - which have thus far included curbing transportation and travel and the cancellation of big events, would be intensified.
The virus is believed to have originated late last year in a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife.
That city of 11 million is now on virtual lockdown, and on Sunday China announced a nationwide ban on the sale of wildlife in markets, restaurants and on e-commerce platforms.