Business Risk Alert: WHO Warns of Possible Person-to-Person Transmission of New Coronavirus

The World Health Organization warns about person-to-person transmission of the novel coronavirus (NCoV) after the French health ministry confirmed a second man had contracted the virus from a person he had been in close contact with.


Since 2012, there have been 34 confirmed cases across Europe and the Middle East, with 18 deaths, according to a recent WHO update.


"This pattern of person-to-person transmission has remained limited to some small clusters and so far, there is no evidence to suggest the virus has the capacity to sustain generalised transmission in communities," says WHO.


France's second confirmed case was a 50-year-old man who had shared a hospital room in Valenciennes, northern France, with a 65-year-old who fell ill with the virus after returning from Dubai.


Novel coronavirus is from the same family of viruses as the one that caused an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) that emerged in Asia in 2003.


However, NCoV and Sars are distinct from each other, the WHO said in its statement on Sunday.


Person-to-person transmission of the virus could potentially disrupt businesses.

In Europe, shares of British Airways parent IAG SA (IAG) and rival Air France-KLM Group (AF) fell 4.6 percent, following news that the fatal virus could be transmitted among people, reports Bloomberg.

Shares of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA dropped as much as 12.80 pence to 263.10 pence in London, the sharpest drop since April 5, when they retreated following concern about a bird-flu virus in China. Air France-KLM fell as much as 35 cents to 7.25 euros in Paris, the most since May 3.


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