Dubai link in French coronavirus death

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The first person to fall ill in France with the new SARS-like coronavirus, a 65-year-old man who had been travelling in Dubai, has died from the illness, a source at the hospital treating him said on Tuesday.

The French health ministry did not immediately confirm the new death from the virus, which had to date killed 22 people worldwide.

A second man is critically ill with the new virus strain in the same hospital in the northern city of Lille after catching it from the first man when they shared a ward in April - before doctors realised he was infected with it.

While there is little evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of the novel virus, known as nCoV, health experts are concerned about clustering as it has spread from the Gulf to France, Britain and Germany.

The nCoV is from the same viral family that triggered the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that swept the world in late 2003 and killed 775 people.

French health officials have screened dozens of people who had come into contact with the two carriers in Lille.

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