The first death in France from a new SARS-like coronavirus brings the worldwide total for the disease to 27 deaths and 49 infections, CNN reports.
The 65-year-old Frenchman was diagnosed after returning from a stay in Dubai.
According to CNN, the World Health Organization has said the disease was first seen in Saudi Arabia last year. The virus is "a threat to the entire world," Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's general director, told the network.
The Centers for Disease Control explains that coronaviruses can affect people or animals and, in worst-case scenarios, cause SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). And it notes there's currently no vaccine to protect against human coronavirus infection.
The disease acts like a cold and causes upper respiratory system problems. Symptoms include fever and cough and can lead to kidney failure and pneumonia.
The WHO has not learned how the new virus spreads, making it difficult to prevent infections. The organization has named it, though: Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, according to CNN.
- Disease & Medical Conditions