A Qatari man is critically ill in a London hospital after contracting an infection similar to the deadly SARS virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday.
The man had a travel history to Saudi Arabia and was flown to England from a hospital in Qatar.
The 49-year-old patient, whose name was not given, has a case of acute respiratory syndrome with renal failure.
The Health Protection Agency of the UK (HPA) conducted laboratory testing and has confirmed the presence of a novel coronavirus, according to WHO.
HPA has compared the sequencing of the virus with that of a virus sample in the Netherlands. The latter isolate was obtained from lung tissue of a fatal case earlier this year in a 60 year-old Saudi national.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which includes viruses that cause the common cold and SARS. Given that this is a novel coronavirus, WHO is currently in the process of obtaining further information to determine the public health implications of these two confirmed cases.
The SARS virus emerged in 2002 and eventually killed 800 people.