WHO Says Novel Coronavirus Continuing To Infect People, Announces Tunisian Death From MERS

“A 66-year-old Tunisian man has died from the new coronavirus following a visit to Saudi Arabia and two of his adult children were infected with it, the Tunisian Health Ministry reported” on Monday, the Associated Press reports. “His sons were treated and have since recovered but the rest of the family remains under medical observation, the ministry said in a statement Monday,” the news agency writes, adding that the WHO “confirmed the cases of the children, but said one of them was a daughter who was with her father for part of the trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar” (Schemm, 5/21). “The man, a diabetic, died in hospital in the city of Monastir, ministry spokesman Ibrahim Labassi said,” Reuters reports. “The novel coronavirus, also known by the acronym nCoV and as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, or MERS, belongs to the same family as viruses that cause common colds and the one that caused a deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003,” the news agency writes (Amara, 5/21). “These Tunisia cases haven’t changed our risk assessment, but they do show the virus is still infecting people,” WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl said, according to the AP (5/21). Cases of the new virus “have been detected in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, the U.K. and France,” BBC News notes, adding all of the cases detected in Europe have a connection with the Middle East (5/21).

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