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Dubai Epidemic Flu France Hospital Lille Saudi Arabia Virus

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Second case confirmed of new Sars-like virus in France

La ministre de la Santé, Marisol Touraine, quitte l'hôpital où est traité le 2e homme infecté par le coronavirus. Lille, le 11 mai 2013. Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

A second case has been confirmed of coronavirus in France, health officials confirmed late Saturday night.

The patients’s health has since worsened and he has been transferred to the intensive care unit, a spokesperson from the Centre hospitalier régional de Lille (CHRU) confirmed.

The health minister announced that the man, who had shared a room for three days from 27 to 29 April with the first confirmed case, picked up the virus at Hôpital Valenciennes. This was before the respiratory virus had been detected.

The first confirmed case is a 65 year old man, who upon returning from a trip to Dubai, fell ill. His condition remains “very serious” but “stable”, according to the hospital spokesperson. 

Back at the CHRU in Lille, specific measures have been put in place to contain the virus. More staff have been ordered to work to ensure “any transfers or hospitalisation of patients are done in the utmost of secure conditions” said hospital officials.

The new coronoavirus, nCoV in medical terms, was first detected in September 2012. Since then, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been 33 confirmed cases worldwide. 18 of those were fatal, whereby 11 occurred in Saudi Arabia.

The WHO has not released much information in terms of the virus itself or its main mode of spreading, as investigations are still on-going. But it is warning people to be vigilant to this serious form of a respiratory infection.

The virus is a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) that triggered a scare ten years ago when it broke out in east Asia, killing some 800 people. The virus originated in animal hosts and then jumped to humans