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WHO Confirms 15th Case of Novel Coronavirus

Mar 13, 2013 04:51 AM EDT

Another man from Saudi Arabia has been confirmed to have been infected with the novel Coronavirus (nCoV), The World Health Organization announced Tuesday. The man died earlier this month.

The latest confirmed report brings the total number of infections to 15; including nine deaths.

"The patient, a 39-year-old male, developed symptoms on 24 February 2013. He was hospitalized on 28 February 2013 and died on 2 March 2013. Preliminary investigation indicated that the patient had no contact with previously reported cases of nCoV infection. Other potential exposures are under investigation," WHO said in a statement.

Coronavirus belongs to a family of viruses that cause illness in animals and humans. The new strain of Coronavirus was never detected in animals or humans so far. The new strain is "genetically quite distinct from SARS," WHO had earlier said.

The first two cases of this Coronavirus infection were confirmed Sept. 28, 2012. A man from Saudi Arabia and another man from Qatar were the first two people identified with this novel strain. Recently, the U.K. reported four new cases of the new Coronavirus, of which three were from the same family.

WHO urged its Member States to continue surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and review any patient that displays unusual pattern of infection.

As of now, there have been no reported cases of the novel Coronavirus infection in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced recently.  

WHO also said that it is not recommending application of any special screening at points of entry due to this case or applying any travel or trade restriction in the region.

A recent study on the novel Coronavirus had shown that the virus can dodge the human immune system just as easily as the common cold virus.

People with the infection generally have fever, cough and shortness of breath, CDC said.

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