GENEVA - Two people who died in Jordan in April have been found to have been infected with the new virus from the same family as SARS which sparked a global alert in September, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.
The coronavirus, previously unknown in humans, has now been confirmed in a total of nine people in three countries in the Middle East region, including a Saudi who had severe acute respiratory illness last month, the United Nations agency said.
But the two fatal cases in Jordan, confirmed in samples just retested by a WHO collaborating laboratory in Egypt, do not change WHO's assessment that the virus does not appear to spread easily between people, if at all, spokesman Gregory Hartl said.
"These Jordan cases don't change our risk assessment at the moment. We haven't seen any new pattern. These are old cases," Hartl told Reuters.