UK & World News
Coronavirus Patient Dies In Birmingham
A patient who was being treated for a Sars-like coronavirus at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham has died.
The man, who was already undergoing treatment for a "long-term complex unrelated health condition" before contracting the so-called novel coronavirus, passed away on Sunday morning in the hospital's critical care unit, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said.
He is the sixth person to die from the illness worldwide.
The victim had problems with his immune system and is believed to have contracted the coronavirus from a relative who is being treated for the condition in a Manchester hospital. It was the first case of human-to-human transition of the virus in the UK.
He was one of three people in the same family with the virus, which appeared to have been caught by one of the family members during a recent visit to the Middle East and Pakistan.
Sky News Health Correspondent Thomas Moore described coronavirus as "a family of viruses - at one end it is a relatively mild disease which causes the common cold, but it also causes diseases such as Sars, which is that really nasty respiratory disease that broke out in the Far East a few years back."
"This seems to be much the same kind of serious lung disease, with breathing difficulties, fever and so on," he said.
Moore warned that doctors were "concerned".
He added: "At the moment its origins seem to be largely in the Arabian peninsular and surrounding countries but the fact that it has come back to the UK and spread not only to the man who has died but also another relative in the family, who is in a mild condition and being treated at home with antibiotics and being told not to see other people, (is concerning)."
The Health Protection Agency has said the UK population in general is not at risk from the virus at the moment.
A total of 12 cases of the virus have so far been reported to the World Health Organisation with five previous fatalities - three in Saudi Arabia and two in Jordan.
In 2003 Sars killed about 800 people worldwide.