LONDON: A British man infected with a new virus from the same family as SARS has died, health officials said today, bringing the worldwide death toll from the previously unknown disease to six.
The virus, called novel coronavirus or NCoV, was unknown in humans until it emerged in the Middle East last year.
There have been 12 confirmed cases worldwide – including in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Britain – and so far six patients have died.
‘The patient had an underlying condition that may have made them more susceptible to respiratory infections,’ the Health Protection Agency said in a statement announcing the death of one of four people in Britain with the NCoV infection.
NCoV was identified when the World Health Organisation issued an international alert in September 2012, saying a completely new virus had infected a Qatari man in Britain who had recently been in Saudi Arabia.