NEW YORK (AP) — Global health officials say a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS has apparently spread from patients to two health care workers in eastern Saudi Arabia.
They say the virus has likely already spread person-to-person in some circumstances, including between patients in France. But the confirmed spread to health care workers is new.
Since September last year, 40 people have been sickened by the virus. Twenty of them have died, in France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Kingdom.
The new virus has been compared to SARS, a pneumonia that began to appear in Southeast Asia in late 2002 and erupted into a deadly international outbreak early 2003. Spread of the virus in hospitals was a key development in that outbreak.