France identifies fifth "case of contact" of suspected SARS-like virus

2013-05-11 12:42:58 GMT2013-05-11 20:42:58(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

PARIS, May 11 (Xinhua) -- France reported a fifth "case of contact" from the entourage of a 65-year-old man infected by a new coronavirus (NCoV) on Saturday morning, Health Minister Marisol Touraine confirmed to the press in Lille aired by French channel BFMTV.

Speaking to media after inspection to the northern French city of Lille where the first confirmed 65-year-old patient is currently hospitalized for an isolated watch and treatment, the health minister said samples tests have been made for the fourth and fifth cases.

"We expect the results at the end of the day," she noted.

The minister also announced that the testing of the other three suspected cases of NCoV in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais were negative and that they were discharged from hospital.

Earlier in the day, France's health authorities announced in a statement that four of some 120 people in contact with the first patient in the hospitals where he had been admitted, had symptoms that led to virological sampling tests and were placed under medical observation in isolation at the Infectious Diseases Service at the University Hospital of Lille.

The health authorities published a telephone hotline on its website for the public to report to or inform doctors as well as the medical center if "suggestive symptom (cough, respiratory disorders, fever)" appear after their trips to the Middle East.

France on Tuesday confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus infected by the 65-year-old patient who had travelled to the United Arab Emirates in April before returning to France.

The virus, known as nCoV-EMC, is similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that erupted in Asia in 2013. The SARS-like virus was first detected in September 2012. Since then more than 30 cases have been reported in different countries, with 18 deaths.

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