British officials say a mysterious virus related to SARS may have spread between humans, as they confirmed the 11th case worldwide of the new coronavirus in a patient who they say probably caught it from a family member.
The new virus was first identified last year in the Middle East and the 10 people who have previously been infected had all traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan.
According to Britain's Health Protection Agency, the latest patient is a U.K. resident with no recent travel to any of those countries but who had close personal contact with an earlier case. The patient may also have been at greater risk of infection due to an underlying medical condition and is currently in intensive care at a Birmingham hospital.
"Although this case provides strong evidence for person to person transmission, the risk of infection in most circumstances is still considered to be very low," John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the Health Protection Agency, said in a statement.
"If (the) novel coronavirus were more infectious, we would have expected to have seen a larger number of cases."
Six hospital staffers where the patient is being treated are being monitored for infection but none have so far showed any symptoms of the illness. The patient did not come into contact with any other hospital patients and is currently being kept in isolation.Here's the BBC report on the case, and here is The Guardian report.