Human-to-Human Transmission Likely in New SARS-like Coronavirus Case in France

Posted on May 12, 2013

There has been a likely case of human-to-human transmitted Sars-like coronavirus, nCoV, in France. Reuters reports that a 50-year-old man contracted the virus after sharing a hospital room with another patient who was confirmed to have the disease.

Despite these two cases showing human-to-human transmission is possible, experts say that the virus does not transmit quickly from person to person. The two men had shared a hospital room for about three days. The case does suggest that isolating nCoV patients is wise. 124 other people that were in contact with the patient have been screened and none were found the the virus.

Reuters quotes Professor Benoit Guery, head of the Lille hospital's infectious diseases unit, as saying, "Fortunately, this remains a virus that is not easily transmitted. I don't think the public should be concerned - it has been out there for a year and we have 34 cases globally."

Even with slow human-to-human transmission the virus is still a major concern as it has killed 18 of 34 patients. Wired reports that there is also a hospital cluster in Saudi Arabia.