His death follows that of a 61-year-old man in the same city on January 9, who died after respiratory failure caused by severe pneumonia.
But the new coronavirus in Wuhan appears to not be as lethal as MERS, or SARS, which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774 in a pandemic that ripped through Asia in 2002 and 2003.
Currently, 41 cases of the new coronavirus have been reported in Wuhan, central China’s largest city. Five of those patients are in serious condition while 12 have been discharged after treatment, local health authorities said. Other patients are stable and under treatment.
In total, 763 people who had close contact with the infected patients have been traced. Of those, 644 people have been discharged and 119 are still under medical observation, but no infected cases have been found among them, according to health officials.
The man who died on Wednesday fell ill on December 31 and was admitted to Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital five days later, where his condition worsened.
Health officials said he suffered from abnormal renal function, inflammation of the heart muscle and severe damage to multiple organ functions. Scans also showed lung damage with possible tuberculosis.
The first, and the majority, of the infected patients in Wuhan have been traced to the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, which has been shut down for disinfection since January 1. Wuhan health authorities said on Wednesday that some “environmental samples” taken from the market tested positive for the virus.
Apart from fish, the market also sold other live animals, including birds, rabbits and snakes — sparking concerns that the virus might have been transmitted to humans from animals, just like SARS and MERS.
Researchers have yet to rule out the possibility that the virus could be transmitted from person to person and virologists around the world are now studying its genome sequence shared by Chinese researchers.
On Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Food and Health officials said there is a “limited” chance of human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus, though added that such a possibility could not be ignored.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Watch Level 1 Alert — the lowest of a three-tier travel health notice that warns visitors to Wuhan to “be aware and practice usual precautions.”
CNN’s Yong Xiong contributed to reporting.