The WHO on Wednesday said it had confirmed another case of novel coronavirus (NCoV) reported by Saudi health authorities, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 14, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health reported that a 69-year-old man with no recent travel history or direct contact with animals had died from the virus on Feb. 19.
Although the case is not related to previous cases or the cluster of cases in the region, there is increasing evidence that the virus might be transmissible between humans, the CDC said.
The WHO in its update said that the virus has caused severe respiratory illness in 14 adults, eight of whom died as a result. Seven of the 14 cases, including five of the fatalities, happened in Saudi Arabia.
The CDC said there have been three suspected cases of NCoV in Taiwan since September last year, but testing showed it had not been the virus.
The center said there had been 109 unexplained cases of pneumonia reported by various hospitals, but they had also all tested negative for NCoV.
The novel coronavirus can cause a severe, acute respiratory infection and lead to acute renal failure, the WHO said.