Skip to main content

Dangerous virus newly found in humans diagnosed in France

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
May 10, 2013 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Out of 31 confirmed cases of infection, the NCoV virus has killed at least 18 people
  • The virus is related to one that causes the common cold, also a coronavirus
  • NCoV has been compared to SARS, which killed about 10% of its confirmed victims

(CNN) -- A newly discovered and often deadly virus related to one that causes the common cold has struck another victim, this time in France.

A man hospitalized in April is infected with the novel coronavirus, France's Health Ministry said Thursday.

The NCoV virus was recently found for the first time in humans and scattered cases have occurred across parts of the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia.

It has proved deadly in more than half of the confirmed cases so far, according to the World Health Organization. Of 31 people with confirmed infections, at least 18 have died.

But infectious disease specialists believe the virus is very difficult to catch.

The newly infected man is the first confirmed infection in France, the Health Ministry said. He had recently returned from travel to the United Arab Emirates, which is on the Arabian Peninsula.

Identifying the source of the man's ailment took time, the ministry said. France's Pasteur Institute confirmed the case Wednesday. The Health Ministry is seeking anyone who may have had contact with the patient.

NCoV, like some common colds, is also caused by a coronavirus. And like a cold, it attacks the respiratory system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said.

But symptoms are severe and can lead to pneumonia and even kidney failure.

"Once it gets you, it's a very serious infection," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

NCoV has also been compared to related coronavirus, the one that causes SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which appears to have been contained in 2004, according to the CDC.

Although its discovery in humans is new, NCoV would seem potentially deadlier, when contracted, than SARS.

Of the some 8,000 verified cases of SARS, fewer than 800 people -- less than one-tenth of those infected -- died.

CNN's Marilia Brocchetto and Saad Abedine contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 2332 GMT (0732 HKT)
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1442 GMT (2242 HKT)
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 0613 GMT (1413 HKT)
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0154 GMT (0954 HKT)
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1255 GMT (2055 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT