A novel coronavirus has been identified with laboratory tests in two patients both with severe respiratory and renal disease. Both had travelled to Saudi Arabia in recent months. It is not clear at this point whether the viruses are identical but there is strong indication that they may be.
A patient, who is from the Middle East, first had symptoms on 3 September and was initially hospitalised in Doha, Qatar. He was transferred to the UK on 11 September by air ambulance where he is currently being treated in an intensive care unit in a London hospital. He had earlier travelled to Saudi Arabia.
The first case was a 60 year old patient in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in June 2012 who subsequently died. The same coronavirus type as the Qatari case was confirmed by the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
No other cases have been confirmed at this point.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses causing respiratory infections in humans and animals. Up to one third of upper respiratory tract infections with no severe symptoms in adults are caused by a coronavirus.
ECDC is working closely with the Health Protection Agency in the UK, Erasmus University Medical Centre, WHO HQ, WHO Euro and the European Commission to coordinate information, assess the risk for further spread and support appropriate response measures.
Novel Coronavirus infection in the United Kingdom - World Health Organization
Information for professionals - novel coronavirus September 2012 - Health Protection Agency, UK