Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which are known to cause illness in humans and animals. As of 28 September 2012, scientists confirmed two cases of a never-seen-before strain of the virus, a 60-year-old Saudi Arabian man who died in June 2012, and a Qatari man, 49, with travel history to Saudi Arabia. Their symptoms included acute, serious respiratory illness presented with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. The novel coronavirus is genetically quite distinct from SARS. There has been no evidence to date that the novel coronavirus has been transmitted from person to person.
Saudi Arabia reports new case of Sars-like coronavirus
Saudi Arabia reports second person with novel coronavirus, but he has recovered
Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry has confirmed that a second person in the kingdom has contracted a new respiratory virus related to Sars, bringing to three the number of those sickened by it in the Gulf region in recent weeks.
The ministry said the unidentified patient was hospitalised with "pneumonia caused by the new virus known as novel Coronavirus". It said the patient had since recovered and that he had not travelled outside Riyadh, but did not say when, where or how the person contracted the virus.
The germ is a coronavirus, from a family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as Sars - the severe acute respiratory syndrome that killed some 800 people, mostly in Asia, in a 2003 epidemic.
The patient "received suitable treatment and has been cured," said the statement.
"These are individual cases and most of those infected with this virus have been cured after being provided with suitable treatment," it added.
The World Health Organisation said in September that the illness in the coronavirus family had caused the death of a Saudi national.
It also left a Qatari man seriously ill in a London hospital after he was transferred there from Doha earlier this month, the WHO said, adding that he had previously been in Saudi Arabia.
The two cases occurred three months apart in June and September respectively, said the WHO, stressing that the illness was not Sars.
Last month, Hong Kong reported a suspected case after a boy, 4, who came from Jeddah, was diagnosed with the disease.
But the boy, who had travelled with his father from Saudi Arabia to Hong Kong on October 3, tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
Associated Press, Agence France-Presse