New coronavirus infects four more in Saudi Arabia

This undated image released by the British Health Protection Agency shows an electron microscope image of a coronavirus, part of a family of viruses that cause ailments including the common cold and SARS, which was first identified last year in the Middle East. British officials say a mysterious virus related to SARS may have spread between humans, as they confirmed the 11th case worldwide of the new coronavirus in a patient who they say probably caught it from a family member. Officials at the World Health Organization said the new virus has probably already spread between humans in some instances. (AP Photo/Health Protection Agency) AP

RIYADH, Saudi ArabiaFour more cases of a deadly new coronavirus have been reported in Saudi Arabia,

Saudi Arabia has confirmed four new cases of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS that appears centered in the Arabian Peninsula but that has also been reported in Europe.

The official Saudi Press Agency said Tuesday that one patient was treated and released from a hospital, while three others remain under medical care.

Saudi authorities have reported nearly 30 cases since the virus was identified last year. Prior to the latest announcement, officials had been monitoring a recent outbreak at a Saudi health care facility in which 15 people were infected. Other cases have appeared in France, Germany and Britain, possibly linked to travel in the Gulf region.

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 18 people since September 2012. The new virus is related to SARS, which killed some 800 people in a global epidemic in 2003, and belongs to a family of viruses that most often causes the common cold.

Last week, officials reported that a 65-year-old French man who had traveled to the United Arab Emirates developed the novel infection. On Sunday, the country confirmed its second case of the disease in the man's roommate, adding evidence that it may be transmitted in humans. The World Health Organization has asked doctors to be vigilant about travelers who develop the respiratory infection returning from affected areas.

At this time, no travel or trade resetrictions are recommended, the WHO said Sunday.

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