New virus in France

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PARIS, FRANCE—Officials stated Friday that three suspected cases of the respiratory virus related to SARS are currently being investigated. These people had close contact in the hospital with France’s only confirmed case.

A nurse at the hospital where the man was hospitalized has been under watch since Thursday night. A doctor and a former hospital roommate remain hospital, and test results are expected later in Friday.

 If confirmed, the additional cases will heighten concerns about the virus’ ability to spread.

In 2003, the spread of SARS in Asia led to a global outbreak, and any spreading of  new viruses in hospitals marks a red flag for health officials.

A 65-year old Frenchman was the first patient of the novel coronavirus, which killed 18 people last year in the Middle East.

The patient fell ill after a 9 day vacation in Dubai.

Since September 2012, the World Health Organization has been informed of 30 cases of the virus, and 18 of the patients have died. Officials state that the virus is most likely spread from person to person.

Since the virus emerged, European authorities have put in place monitoring measures. Twenty people have been examined, and 19 turned up negative. The patient who traveled to Dubai marked the only positive case.

By: Julia Roake

Source: AP Press

Image: AP Press

10 May 2013

09:00am PDT

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