Saudi Arabia reports seven new cases of novel coronavirusListen /
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with international experts to assess the situation of the novel coronavirus after Saudi Arabia confirmed seven new cases of infection.
The virus, which has not been previously identified in humans, causes severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.
WHO spokesperson Glenn Thomas has more on the virus which has been circulating in the Middle East.
"The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has informed WHO of seven new laboratory confirmed cases of infection with novel coronavirus, including five deaths. Two patients are currently in critical condition. The government is conducting ongoing investigations into this outbreak. Preliminary investigation shows no indication of recent travel or animal contact of any of the confirmed cases and the confirmed cases are not from the same family." (26")
WHO says that since September last year, it has been informed of a global total of 24 laboratory confirmed cases of human infection with the novel coronavirus.
The agency is urging all countries to promptly assess and notify it of any new case of the virus.
It is also asking for information about potential exposures that may have resulted in infection and a description of the clinical course.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.