New suspicious French case of Sars-related virus

PARIS (AP) - France's health minister says tests on three suspected cases of a deadly new respiratory virus related to Sars are negative - but a fourth needs complementary tests and a fifth suspected case has been discovered.

Ms Marisol Touraine said test results of the two remaining suspicious cases - people who had close contact with France's only confirmed case - should be known later on Saturday.

The minister spoke in the northern city of Lille where a 65-year-old man who contracted the virus is hospitalised. The Health Ministry has said the patient fell ill after returning from a nine-day vacation in Dubai.

The novel coronavirus has killed 18 people since being identified last year in the Middle East, out of 30 confirmed cases reported to the World Health Organisation since September 2012.

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