Rare SARS-linked virus may have spread between people but risk to public is low

British officials say a mysterious virus related to SARS may have spread between humans, as they confirmed the 11th case worldwide of the new coronavirus in a patient who they say probably caught it from a family member.

The new virus was first identified last year in the Middle East and the 10 people who have previously been infected had all traveled there. According to Britain's Health Protection Agency, the latest patient is a U.K. resident with no recent travel to the Middle East but who had close personal contact with an earlier case. The patient is in intensive care at a Birmingham hospital.

The agency said this case was "strong evidence" for human-to-human transmission but insisted the risk to the general public was still considered very low.