A man who was among 56 Italian citizens repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan this week is suspected of having the coronavirus following laboratory tests, Italy's health ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"Further tests will be carried out on the patient, who will be put in isolation at the Spallanzani Institute," said the statement, referring to a military hospital in Rome.
The man is currently being held in quarantine with the other 55 repatriated Italians at the Cecchignola military zone in south Rome.
A further 35 Italians are in quarantine aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Japan.
The coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptoms usually start with a fever, followed by a dry cough. Most people infected are likely to fully recover as they would from flu, according to medical experts.
There have been two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Italy so far - a Chinese tourist couple, who are currently intensive care at the Spallanzani hospital.
The Chinese couple are from the city of Wuhan - believed to be the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak that since mid-December has killed at least 563 people, all but two of whom were in China.
The coronavirus disease has infected at least 28,256 people, 28,000 of those in China. Cases have been confirmed in at least 25 countries.