Coronavirus outbreak grows in northern Italy, 16 cases reported Friday

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A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a Vietnam Airlines airplane to protect from the recent coronavirus outbreak, at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, Vietnam February 21, 2020.

Kham | Reuters

An outbreak of coronavirus in northern Italy worsened on Friday, with officials announcing 14 confirmed cases in the wealthy region of Lombardy, while two cases were reported in the adjacent region of Veneto.

Just hours after revealing that six people had come down with the virus in the first known cases of local transmission in Italy, officials said a further eight had tested positive for the disease, including five health workers.

Separately, ANSA news agency said two people had been diagnosed as suffering from the highly contagious illness in Veneto, although it was not immediately clear if the cases were connected.

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