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 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 0500 GMT (1300 HKT)
China's Xi Jinping and India's Narendra Modi, leaders of the most populous nations face similar challenges. Can they learn from each other?
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
The U.S. is not returning combat troops to Iraq, President Barack Obama insists.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT)
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1508 GMT (2308 HKT)
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 0927 GMT (1727 HKT)
Psychedelic drugs are being researched as a potential treatment for conditions ranging from anxiety to tobacco and alcohol addiction.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 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