A man is being treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for symptoms associated with the potentially fatal Wuhan coronavirus.
The man is believed to have travelled to Northern Ireland from the city of Wuhan at the weekend and is currently being treated in an isolation ward.
The Belfast Trust has declined to comment on the case.
It is understood the patient is being tested to rule out coronavirus, but it will be some time before test results are returned.
It comes as officials at the Public Health Agency (PHA) have confirmed that they are monitoring developments regarding the outbreak of the potentially fatal Wuhan coronavirus.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday told the House of Commons that there was an “increased likelihood” of cases of the virus occurring in the UK.
The first cases of the virus originated in Wuhan, China, at the end of December – with further reports following from as far away as Thailand and the USA.
There are more than 500 confirmed cases of the virus currently, with 17 fatalities in China as a result.
The virus causes pneumonia, with those who have fallen ill reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties.
The Northern Ireland PHA confirmed yesterday that they were working with health bodies around the UK and issued advice to any members of the public travelling to or from China.
In a statement they said: “The Public Health Agency is keeping abreast of the changing situation around the Wuhan novel coronavirus, and is liaising with partners across the UK including Public Health England and our local Health Trusts on this issue.
“As part of this, the health service here is monitoring for any potential cases of Wuhan novel coronavirus.”
The viral outbreak comes at a time when many will travel to and from China as part of the Lunar New Year celebrations.
Schools and other academic institutions with students from China have also taken additional precautions as a result of the outbreak.
Campbell College Head of Boarding, Mr Bert Robinson, confirmed that while there are no boarding students from the affected region, the college houses four students with addresses in other regions of China.
He said: “Each of these boys has already been assessed by our School Nurse and in consultation with the GP.
“None of these students are presenting with any symptoms and each student is being assessed on a daily basis as we continue to monitor the situation very closely.
“The health and wellbeing of our pupils is of the utmost importance and we are following all Public Health Agency guidance to ensure the ongoing safety of all our pupils.”
In advice to the public, the PHA said: “Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK.
“People who plan to travel should check the travel advice on gov.uk. This is an evolving situation and we will provide updates and further guidance as required.”