Third patient infected with deadly new virus

London: A third patient has been diagnosed with a new Sars-like virus, in what experts believe is the first time it has been passed between people.

The patient, who has not been named, was in a stable condition in an isolation room at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

The other two confirmed cases of the coronavirus involved patients who had travelled to the Middle East, where it is thought that the disease originated.

The latest sufferer had not been abroad but is related to a patient in Manchester who was confirmed with the disease on Monday. The first case in Britain involved a 49-year-old Qatari man who was diagnosed last year. Experts said the Birmingham case was the best evidence yet of person-to-person transmission of the virus, of which there have been 11 diagnosed cases worldwide. It has killed almost half of those who have been diagnosed.

The new patient was understood to have a long-term medical condition that made them more susceptible to respiratory infections. Experts said that, as the new strain was detected more than three months ago and this appeared to be the first time it had passed between people, it did not seem to be very infectious.

The Daily Telegraph