Italy confirms 1st case of new respiratory virus

ROME (AP) — Italy's health ministry has confirmed the country's first case of a new respiratory virus that is alarming global health officials.

The patient is a 45-year-old man recently back from a 40-day visit to Jordan. The ministry says he was in good condition and being treated Saturday for the coronavirus in a hospital in Tuscany.

The virus is related to SARS, which killed about 800 people in a 2003 global epidemic. The U.N. health agency says it has been informed of 51 confirmed cases of the new virus since September. Thirty of those cases were fatal, including that of a Frenchman who died earlier in the week. Cases in Britain and Germany also have been reported.

Most of those infected had traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan.