Coronavirus has now hit every continent except Antarctica after a man in Brazil tested positive

  • The coronavirus has now infected every continent except Antarctica after Brazil confirmed a case on Tuesday.

  • A 61-year-old man who had just returned from a 12-day trip to Lombardy, Italy, tested positive in São Pãulo.

  • Italy is the worst-hit nation in Europe, where more than 300 people have been infected.

  • Australia and Oceania, North America, and Africa had already confirmed small numbers of cases, though no deaths.

  • Asia is by far the worst affected. China alone has 78,064 cases and 2,715 confirmed deaths.

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The coronavirus has now reached every continent on earth except for Antarctica after Brazil confirmed its first case.

On Tuesday, Brazil's ministry of health said in a statement that it was testing a man in São Paulo. Brazilian media, including G1 and Agora later reported that he tested positive for COVID-19.

The 61-year-old male returned to São Paulo from Lombardy, Italy, on February 21, the ministry said. He had flown to Italy for work on February 9.

This is the first confirmed case in South America, leaving Antarctica the only continent without a registered case.

Cases have been reported in Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Oceania, and Africa.

It is unsurprising that Antarctica is yet to register a case. It has no official native population, and the majority of the 4,400 people residing on the continent are visiting scientists and researchers.

The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, January 29, 2020. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC/Handout via REUTERS


Asia is by far the worst-affected continent, with China bearing the brunt. As of Tuesday, China had confirmed 78,064 cases, with 2,715 confirmed deaths.

South Korea is also struggling to contain the outbreak. The number of those infected jumped to 1,146 on Tuesday with most coming from members of a doomsday cult in Daegu.

In Europe, Italy is the worst-hit region. As of Wednesday, 11 people have died from the virus, and at least 322 people are infected. 12 towns have been placed under quarantine. France recorded its first death on Wednesday.

A young tourist wearing a protective facemask and a Carnival mask visits the streets of Venice, on February 24, 2020 during the usual period of the Carnival festivities which the last two days have been cancelled due to an outbreak of the COVID-19 the novel coronavirus, in northern Italy. - Italy reported on February 24, 2020 its fourth death from the new coronavirus, an 84-year old man in the northern Lombardy region, as the number of people contracting the virus continued to mount. (Photo by ANDREA PATTARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty Images)

Getty Images / ANDREA PATTARO / Contributor

Iran is the Middle Eastern country contending with the most cases. At least 19 people there have died from the disease.

In Africa, there has only been one confirmed case, but experts fear there are far more yet to be reported.

North America is bracing for a rise in confirmed cases, but is yet to register a death.

There are 57 confirmed in the US, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 39 of which came from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. There are 11 cases in Canada, according to its government.

Australia and Oceania have avoided serious infection so far. There are 15 confirmed cases in Australia, according to News 9.

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