CNBC reports the following:

A Brazilian government test has confirmed the first case of a fast-spreading new coronavirus in Latin America, officials from the Brazil Health Ministry said Wednesday, after a Sao Paulo hospital flagged the possible infection of a 61-year-old who had visited Italy.

The diagnosis comes during Brazil’s carnival holiday, a peak time for domestic travel when millions of revelers throng to major cities for raucous street celebrations.

Brazil is tracking 20 suspected cases of the virus in the country, health officials told reporters at a news briefing Wednesday.

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8:31 am: Italy cases triple in two days as outbreak surges

The number of cases in Italy has tripled over the last two days, rising to 374 confirmed diagnoses from 124 on Monday, according to data from Italy’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organizations. The virus has killed 12 people so far, up from two reported deaths two days ago. A bulk of the cases are still concentrated in the wealthy Lombardy region in Northern Italy. The country’s first two cases were confirmed on Jan. 30, a couple of Chinese tourists, the Ministry said. The first confirmed case of secondary transmission occurred at a hospital on Feb. 18, it said. —Kopecki

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