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02/11/2013

New case of novel coronavirus identified in the U.K.

Health officials in the United Kingdom confirmed today that they have identified another case of the novel coronavirus -- bringing the worldwide tally up to 10.

The patient is a U.K. resident who recently travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan and is now in intensive care at a Manchester hospital. This is the second case of the novel coronavirus diagnosed in the U.K.

This new coronavirus -- related to the virus that causes SARS -- was first detected in a Saudi Arabian patient in June 2012. More cases have since been identified in Saudi Arabia, as well as Qatar and Jordan. The virus causes severe respiratory symptoms and has killed five people so far.

Here is a breakdown of laboratory-confirmed cases so far:

Saudi Arabia: 5 cases (3 fatal)

Jordan: 2 cases (2 fatal)

U.K.: 2 cases (one from Qatar, one from U.K. -- both receiving ongoing treatment)

Germany: 1 case (patient from Qatar -- now discharged)

So far, the novel coronavirus doesn't appear to spread easily between people although there have been small clusters of outbreaks; one in a Saudi Arabian family and one in a group of health care workers in Jordan. Evidence so far also suggests that the virus comes from bats.

For more information on the novel coronavirus, see here. And to read how keen-eyed scientists caught on to the virus last year, you can read my story here.

Jennifer Yang is the Toronto Star’s global health reporter. She previously worked as a general assignment reporter and won a NNA in 2011 for her explanatory piece on the Chilean mining disaster. Follow her on Twitter: @jyangstar

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