Three suspected cases of SARS-related virus in France

by Greg Keller

French health officials said Friday they are investigating three suspected cases of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, in people who had close contact in the hospital with France's only confirmed case.

Beatrice Degrugillers, a spokeswoman for the regional health agency in France's Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, said a nurse at the hospital where the man was hospitalized in late April has herself been under watch at the hospital in Douai since Thursday night.

A doctor and a former hospital roommate who had each been in contact with the first patient also remain hospitalized. Test results are expected later Friday.

If confirmed, the additional cases would heighten concerns about the virus' ability to spread easily between people. Health authorities have previously said the new coronavirus has spread in limited circumstances between people in very close contact, such as relatives taking care of family members.

In 2003, the spread of SARS in hospitals in Asia ultimately sparked a global outbreak. Officials consider any spread of a new virus in hospitals to be the first sign it is gaining the ability to infect humans easily.

On Wednesday authorities announced the 65-year-old Frenchman was France's first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, which has killed 18 people since being identified last year in the Middle East.

The patient fell ill after returning from a nine-day vacation in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as part of a package tour, the Health Ministry said.

The man, whose identity was not released, returned from Dubai on April 17. He was hospitalized with respiratory problems in the northern French city of Valenciennes on April 23, and transferred to a more advanced facility in Douai on April 29.

Paris' Pasteur Institute analyzed the man's virus and confirmed that it is a novel coronavirus.

Since September 2012, the World Health Organization has been informed of 30 confirmed cases of the virus, and 18 of the patients have died. Cases have emerged in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, Qatar, Britain and Germany, and health officials say the virus has likely already spread from person to person in some circumstances.

Since the virus emerged last year, European authorities have put in place monitoring measures. In France, 20 people have already been examined for suspected cases of the virus, but the other 19 turned up negative, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said.

The patient who traveled to Dubai is the only positive case. His family members have been tested and are not infected.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

France confirms first case of new SARS-related virus (Update)

May 08, 2013

A 65-year-old Frenchman is hospitalized after contracting France's first case of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, and French health authorities said Wednesday they are trying to find anyone who might have been ...

France fears more cases of deadly SARS-like virus

May 09, 2013

French health authorities said on Thursday they feared the country's first case of a new SARS-like virus that has killed 18 people, mostly in Saudi Arabia, may have infected two other people.

Saudi Arabia reports three cases of SARS-like virus

May 03, 2013

Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry has confirmed three more cases of a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 10 the number of cases it reported this week, including five deadly ones.

Recommended for you

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

1 hour ago

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

5 hours ago

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

Dec 19, 2014

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

Dec 19, 2014

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.