x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Emirati dies in Germany from Sars-like virus infection

The disease that the 73-year-old contracted was a new form of a virus similar to Sars.

An Emirati man has died in Germany after contracting a new form of a virus similar to Sars.

The man, 73, was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection at a city hospital in Munich, where he was pronounced dead yesterday.

He had been transferred to Munich from Abu Dhabi by air ambulance on March 19.

It remains unclear where he contracted the virus.

A second patient in the UK, who had recently travelled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, also died within the past few days.

The UAE national is the 11th person to have died after contracting the virus and the 17th confirmed human case worldwide. It is believed he also had a serious underlying condition that meant he was unlikely to survive.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been monitoring the situation to track the spread of novel coronavirus since it was first detected in humans last year.

WHO said SARS and nCoV are distantly related and "both capable of causing severe disease.

"However, they have important differences based on current information. Most importantly, the novel coronavirus does not appear to transmit easily between people while the SARS virus was much more transmissible."

It has asked member states to remain vigilant for patients suffering from severe acute respiratory infections or unexplained pneumonias that are not responding to treatment.

ksinclair@thenational.ae