France says new suspected cases of MERS virus

France's health ministry said Wednesday that a man suspected of having contracted MERS had tested negative for the SARS-like virus which has killed more than 30 people, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

France has had two confirmed cases of MERS to date, one of them fatal.

The man who died, in the northern town of Lille last month, was 65 and had recently returned from Dubai. He is believed to have infected a patient who was sharing a hospital room with him before he was diagnosed. The second man is still in hospital.

The health ministry said there had since been 50 suspected cases of MERS in France but they had all proven to be false alarms.

In the latest scare, two men were reported to have been hospitalised in the town of Tours southwest of Paris on Tuesday. The virus was quickly ruled out as an explanation for the symptoms of one of them and tests cleared the other one.

The (WHO) said on June 7 that there had been 55 laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus, 31 of which had resulted in the affected individuals dying.

Previously known as novel coronavirus, the disease was last month renamed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.

The WHO believes 26 of the 31 people who have died contracted the virus in Saudi Arabia.

The virus is a cousin of (SARS), which killed 800 people in Asia in 2003.

Like SARS, MERS appears to cause a , with patients suffering from a temperature, cough and .

But it differs in that it also causes rapid and the extremely high death rate has caused serious concern among health experts.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

France reports new suspected cases of MERS virus

Jun 11, 2013

French medical authorities on Tuesday reported two new suspected cases of infection with the SARS-like virus MERS which has killed more than 30 people worldwide, the bulk of them in Saudi Arabia.

New Saudi death from MERS virus

Jun 06, 2013

The Saudi health ministry on Thursday announced the death of one of its citizens in the eastern region of Al-Ahsaa after he contracted MERS, a SARS-like virus.

WHO raises MERS virus death toll to 31

Jun 07, 2013

The World Health Organization on Friday formally raised the global death toll from the SARS-like virus MERS to 31, after a new fatality in hard-hit Saudi Arabia.

Elderly woman dies of SARS-like virus in Saudi

May 26, 2013

An 81-year-old woman who had contracted a SARS-like coronavirus has died in Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll in the kingdom to 18, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Recommended for you

NY and NJ say they will require Ebola quarantines

10 hours ago

The governors of New Jersey and New York on Friday ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for all doctors and other arriving travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa.

WHO: Mali case may have infected many people

14 hours ago

The World Health Organization says a toddler who brought Ebola to Mali was bleeding from her nose during her journey on public transport and may have infected many people.

Two US nurses are declared cured of Ebola

15 hours ago

Two American nurses were declared cured of Ebola on Friday, and one was healthy enough to leave the hospital and meet President Barack Obama for a hug.

User comments