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Infectious Disease

Tunisia announces 3 cases of coronavirus, 1 death

coronavirus_AP_Feb 13 2013.jpg

This undated image released by the British Health Protection Agency shows an electron microscope image of a coronavirus, part of a family of viruses that cause ailments including the common cold and SARS. (AP Photo/Health Protection Agency)

Tunisia's Health Ministry says a 66-year-old man has died after being infected by the new coronavirus following a visit to Saudi Arabia.

The ministry's statement reported that his son and daughter were also diagnosed with the virus but have been treated and since recovered.

The cases are the first for Tunisia and indicate that the virus is slowly trickling out of the Middle East, where more than 30 cases have been reported. There have been at least 20 deaths from the virus worldwide.

The Tunisian, a diabetic, had been complaining since his return from a trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and died from acute respiratory distress at a hospital in Monastir.

The new coronavirus is related to SARS, which killed about 800 people in 2003, mostly in Asia.