Fatal case of coronavirus reported in Saudi Arabia; 15 cases so far
An electron microscope image of a coronavirus, provided by the British Health Protection Agency, is shown. The virus is part of a family of viruses that cause ailments, including the common cold and SARS, and was first identified last year in the Middle East. (Health Protection Agency)
Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, March 12, 2013 4:08PM EDT
The World Health Organization says it has been notified of another infection with the novel coronavirus.
This case makes the 15th so far since the virus came to light last fall.
The case was discovered in Saudi Arabia, which has reported the most cases of any country to date.
The infection was in a 39-year-old man who was hospitalized on Feb. 28 and died March 2.
Saudi officials report that the man had no known contact with earlier cases.
So far nine people are known to have died from infections with this virus, which causes severe respiratory illness in most cases.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, cases have been reported from Jordan, Qatar and Britain.
A cluster of three cases in Britain appears to have been sparked when a U.K. resident travelled to Saudi Arabia. He was sick on his return and is believed to have infected at least two other members of his family.
While the virus is believed to have originated in bats, it is not currently known how people are becoming infected.