By Mathieu Rosemain & Jason Gale - May 12, 2013 8:12 PM ET
The novel coronavirus that has killed
more than half the 38 people it’s known to have infected appears
capable of limited human-to-human spread, the World Health
Organization said, as France reported a second case.
The patient, who is hospitalized in an isolated ward,
probably caught the pneumonia-causing virus from an infected
patient in a hospital room they shared in Valenciennes, in
northeast France, in late April, the French Health Ministry and
the WHO said yesterday.
The French cases have opened up a new front in an
international effort to control the virus, which is related to
the one that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS,
a decade ago. The majority of infections with the new virus have
occurred in Saudi Arabia, where the Ministry of Health reported
yesterday 15 deaths from 24 confirmed cases since September.
Several of the infections have been tied to health-care centers.