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Ireland reports first coronavirus community transmission, cases hit 13

Human coronavirus. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Human coronavirus particles. Coronaviruses primarily infect the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract and can cause the common cold, gastrointestinal infections and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Coronaviruses are named after the corona (crown) of surface proteins (outer dots) that are used to penetrate a host cell. Once inside the cell, the virus particles (virions) use the cell's machinery to make more copies of themselves. (Image: Science Photo Library)

DUBLIN, March 5 (Reuters) - Health authorities in Ireland reported the first community transmission of coronavirus not associated with travel from an affected area of Italy on Thursday as the number of cases rose to 13 from six a day earlier.

The male patient who contracted the virus via community transmission is in a hospital in Cork, where his diagnosis was made a number of days after admission, giving rise to the potential of contact with health workers, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health told a news conference.

Cork University Hospital (CUH) said on Twitter that strict visiting restrictions had been put in place at the hospital due to infection control concerns, with all outpatient appointments on Friday canceled. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Sandra Maler )

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