Australia reports five cases of coronavirus in 48 hours

A young Chinese woman has tested positive for "probable" coronavirus in Sydney bringing the total amount of cases in Australia to five in 48 hours.

Her condition will be confirmed on Tuesday. 

Four other cases have been detected in New South Wales and a dozen more potential cases are being investigated.

All of the infected people had travelled to the Wuhan or Hubei areas of China, reports 9 News.

More than 2000 people have been infected in China and 56 have died. 

The outbreak originated late last year in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. The disease began in a food market which was illegally selling wildlife.

The virus can spread by human-to-human transmission and causes pneumonia and breathing difficulty. In severe cases the virus can cause organ failure. 

There have been no reported cases in New Zealand 

"All travellers to New Zealand who become sick within a month of their arrival are encouraged to seek medical advice and contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or a doctor and share their travel history," Ministry of Health director of public health, Dr Caroline McElnay, said on Saturday.

"It is important to mention recent travel from Wuhan and any known contact with someone with severe acute respiratory illness who has been in Wuhan."

To reduce the spread of infection the World Health Organization recommends regularly washing hands, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze, staying home if you are sick and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms.