A French patient infected with the novel coronavirus died Tuesday at the Roger Salengro hospital in Lille.
The 65-year-old man was hospitalized on April 23 following digestion problems after he had returned home from a trip to Dubai and was diagnosed with coronavirus on May 8.
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Another patient who share a room with the man caught the infection, but the second man is in stable condition.
Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Margaret Chan spoke about the illness during a speech she gave Monday in Geneva.
"We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat," Chan said at the annual WHO meeting. "We do not know where the virus hides in nature. We do not know how people are getting infected. Until we answer these questions, we are empty-handed when it comes to prevention. These are alarm bells. And we must respond."
The virus, which is similar to those that cause SARS and the common cold, came to light last year. Of 44 confirmed cases around the world, 23 people have now died and most of the infections have been linked back to travel to the Middle East. Coronavirus can cause pneumonia and, sometimes, organ failure, among other health problems.