Paris - Three suspected cases of the SARS-like coronavirus have been discovered in northern France, health authorities said Friday after confirming the country's first case of the deadly respiratory infection this week.
The three cases were believed to be linked to that of a65-year-old man, who was hospitalised last month after a visit to Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The health ministry confirmed he had France's first known case of coronavirus.
Since then, a doctor in the town of Valenciennes, where he received treatment; a patient who shared his hospital room; and a nurse from the nearby town of Douai, where he was first hospitalised, have all presented with coronavirus symptoms, the health agency of the northern region said. The three are undergoing tests.
The patient, himself, is listed in very serious but stable condition in an isolation ward in a hospital in Lille.
Human coronavirus, or hCoV, was first discovered in 2012 in a man in Saudi Arabia. Almost all of the 17 cases reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as of April 25 had originated in the Arabian Peninsula.
Coronavirus belongs to the same group as SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which 10 years ago killed about 800 people.//DPA