A 69-year-old man in Saudi Arabia died after being infected with a new SARS-related virus, becoming the 14th confirmed case and the eighth death, the World Health Organization said.
Preliminary investigations indicated the patient had no contact with previously reported cases of infection with the novel coronavirus, the Geneva-based WHO said in a statement on its website yesterday. Seven of the 14 confirmed cases, and five of the eight deaths, have been reported from Saudi Arabia, the United Nations health agency said.
Coronaviruses are a family of pathogens that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which sickened more than 8,000 people and killed 774 in 2002 and 2003, according to the WHO. While the new virus is related to the one that causes SARS, it appears far less transmissible, the WHO has said.