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Third case of new SARS-like virus reported; patient recovered

Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry has confirmed that a second person in the kingdom has contracted a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to three the number of those sickened by it in the Gulf region in recent weeks.

The Ministry in a statement Monday said the unidentified patient was hospitalized with "pneumonia caused by the new virus known as novel Coronavirus." It said the patient has since recovered from his pneumonia, adding that he had not traveled outside Riyadh. It did not say when, where, or how the person contracted the virus.

The germ is a coronavirus, from a family of viruses that cause the common cold, as well as SARS — the severe acute respiratory syndrome that killed some 800 people, mostly in Asia, in a 2003 epidemic.

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