Thousands of passengers are being kept in quarantine aboard an Italian cruise liner after a 56-year-old woman began showing signs of contracting the coronavirus.
ABC 7 reported Thursday that as many as 6,000 people remain aboard the Costa Smeralda vessel, currently sitting about 35 miles off the coast of Rome. The woman and her husband are originally from Macao, an autonomous region off the coast of China's mainland.
The woman has submitted samples for testing, and health officials are reportedly waiting for confirmation of her symptoms. After coming down with a fever, she and her husband were placed in isolation. Other members of the cruise will have to wait on board until the test results are returned, which is due to happen this afternoon.
The death toll in China from an outbreak of the virus crossed 100 this week as officials in multiple regions have scrambled to set up screening procedures to prevent the disease's spread. Every region of the country has now reported the disease, and screenings have also begun in Japan, South Korea and the U.S.
Five cases have so far been reported in the U.S., though no deaths have been recorded outside of mainland China.
The virus, which is still being studied, is not thought to be easily transmittable between humans and causes symptoms including a deadly form of pneumonia.