PARIS, FRANCE (MAY 8, 2013) (REUTERS) - French health authorities confirmed France's first case of a new strain of coronavirus on Wednesday (May 8), a potentially fatal condition first identified inSaudi Arabia which has now spread to several European countries including theUnited Kingdom.
The 65 year-old man from northern France contracted the virus whilst on a visit toDubai from April 9 to April 17, officials said.
"This coronavirus case concerns one person coming back from a stay in the UAE. A man, hospitalised in Valenciennes on April 23 and then transferred to the medical centre in Douai on April 29. He's in reanimation and in isolation," health ministerMarisol Touraine told a news conference.
She added that it had taken some time to identify the man's condition but emphasised that the case was isolated and insisted authorities were doing everything in their power to control it.
"I want to underline the total mobilisation of the services of the state to take charge of this situation in the best way possible with the cooperation of international health authorities," she said.
Doctors at the news conference described the man's condition as critical.
Coronavirus was first identified in Saudi Arabia in September 2012 and other strains of the condition can cause common colds as well as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that emerged in Asia in 2003 and killed 775 people.
But Touraine emphasised that coronavirus had nothing to do with the strain of bird flu H7N9 which has been the cause of multiple deaths in China in recent weeks.