WHO reports additional coronavirus case in Middle East

The World Health Organization recently confirmed that a third case of novel coronavirus has been diagnosed in a family cluster of infections, bringing the total number to seven globally.

The WHO said a fourth member of the family is now listed is a probable case, according to CIDRAP News.

Only one death has been attributed to the novel coronavirus so far, contradicting earlier WHO reports of a second death among the first six patients. The WHO has not responded to the discrepancy.

It remains unclear as to whether the family members passed the virus to one another or caught it independently from one another.

"The source of the virus is unknown, as is the mode of transmission," the WHO said, CIDRAP News reports.

The WHO said that the cases occurred within the same region, but hundreds of miles apart. Cases have been diagnosed close to Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and in Doha, Qatar.

All seven patients are suffering from acute respiratory infection with the signs and symptoms of pneumonia. Four of the cases have had renal failure, including the patient who died.

"The remaining three patients had pneumonia that required intensive support, without renal failure, and recovered," the WHO said, CIDRAP News reports.

No update has been given on the second confirmed patient, a Qatari who was flown to the United Kingdom for treatment in September and has remained hospitalized ever since.