A new coronavirus from the same family as SARS has now infected six people in the Middle East, two of whom have died, the World Health Organization announced Friday. The UN health agency said four new cases have been confirmed, in addition to a previous patient from Saudi Arabia, who died in June, and another one from Qatar still undergoing treatment in the United Kingdom. Three of the new cases are Saudis – and two are family members who lived together, the WHO said in a news release. One died and the other is recovering. Two other relatives of that family have also shown the pneumonia-like symptoms of the novel coronavirus. One relative died but laboratory results have not yet confirmed whether he or she had the virus; the second relative is recovering and tested negative. The fourth of the new cases is a Qatari citizen, according to the WHO. On Friday, Germany’s national health institute also announced a German clinic had been treating a Qatari patient with the novel coronavirus, who fell ill in October and was released this week. So far, there is no evidence that the virus is easily transmitted between humans, as was the case with the deadly SARS outbreak in 2003 that swept across 30 countries and killed approximately 800 people, including 44 Torontonians.
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