Tunisia recorded the first coronavirus related death. A 66-year-old man following a visit to Saudi Arabia succumbed to the infection and two of his adult children were also infected with the virus.
According to the Tunisian Health Ministry and the World Health Organization officials, the first SARS-like coronavirus death was reported in Tunisia after a 66-year old man, who visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar for a week, died. The WHO officials said the virus also infected two of his children, but they were treated and have recovered.
The man's 35-year old daughter, who accompanied her father on his trip to Saudi Arabia, fell ill and recovered at home, his 34-year old son tested positive for the virus but did not fall ill, reports the Wall Street Journal.
"These Tunisia cases haven't changed our risk assessment, but they do show the virus is still spreading," said Gregory Hartl, spokesman for WHO in Geneva. "We still do not have a good idea of how people are getting infected and that is a major concern."
The coronavirus infection is related to a bat virus, according to experts. It falls in the family of SARS and common cold. Authorities assume the source of the virus may be from animal to human, but due to lack of solid evidence it is difficult to draw conclusions and isolate the animal species..
The virus's spread in Tunisia marks the ninth country and the third continent, according to the WSJ report. Countries like Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Britain, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have already reported cases confirming the virus infection. According to the WHO, 41 nCoV cases have been confirmed worldwide since September 2012 resulting in the death of 21 people.
The latest death toll due to the infection of the coronavirus reported in Saudi Arabia has risen to 16. Saudi Arabia has reported the maximum number of cases, with 22 patients testing positive for the virus.