Two French men have now been confirmed to be suffering from the novel coronavirus nCoV-EMC, a SARS-like respiratory illness that is believed to have originated in the Middle East.
The first man confirmed to be suffering from the illness, a 65-year-old who had recently Dubai, was sharing a hospital room with the latest 50-year-old victim — authorities told Reuters that the first man exhibited "quite atypical" symptoms and was thus not quarantined immediately.
Read more from GlobalPost: SARS-like coronavirus has killed five in Saudi Arabia
Both cases were diagnosed in a hospital in the town of Lille, and two other wards are under investigation and intensive screening according to France24, which added that the first man was in "very serious but stable condition."
"Fortunately, this remains a virus that is not easily transmitted," said Lille hospital infectious disease chief Professor Benoit Guery of the case, in an effort to quell public worry over the new development, according to Reuters. "I don't think the public should be concerned - it has been out there for a year and we have 34 cases globally."
Cases of the novel coronavirus have primarily been reported in Saudi Arabia, although cases have now been confirmed in the UK, France, Qatar, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, according to the Center for Disease Control. A total of 33 have been confirmed to be suffering from the illness, and at least 18 have died.
First described in 2012 and thought to be most closely related to a disease commonly found in bats, health experts remain unsure about where it originated and how it is transmitted from person to person.