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Health Protection Agency issue statement after man dies of rare virus

The patient died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham Photo: PA Images

The Health Protection Agency have issued a statement after a man died of a rare SARS-like virus.

The man had no recent history of foreign travel.

The statement read"

"One person has sadly died. This patient had an underlying condition that may have made them more susceptible to respiratory infections.

"The first patient in this cluster, who had recent travel history to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, is still receiving treatment.

"The third case, who had a mild illness, has recovered."

Since September 2012, when an earlier case of novel coronavirus was diagnosed in the UK, there have been a total of 12 confirmed cases globally, with six deaths.

More than 100 people have been identified as having had close contact with the three family members affected by the outbreak, but all tests carried out to date have proved negative for the new virus.

Prof Watson said: "The routes of transmission to humans of the novel coronavirus have not yet been fully determined, but the recent UK experience provides strong evidence of human-to-human transmission in at least some circumstances.

"The three recent cases in the UK represent an important opportunity to obtain more information about the characteristics of this infection in humans and risk factors for its acquisition, particularly in the light of the first ever recorded instance of apparently lower severity of illness in one of the cases.

"The HPA will continue to work closely with national and international health authorities and will share any further advice with health professionals and the public if and when more information becomes available."

Of the worldwide cases confirmed by laboratory tests, five have occurred in Saudi Arabia, two in Jordan, four in the UK, and one in Germany.

Coronaviruses are causes of the common cold but can also include more severe illness, such as Sars.

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