The World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday that the latest strain of the coronavirus can be passed between two people in close contact.
The news came as French authorities said a man that had shared a hospital ward with the country's first coronavirus victim had become infected.
The two shared a room for two days in a hospital in Valenciennes and are both now in hospital in Lille.
The second patient is in intensive care after contracting the virus.
More from GlobalPost: Two now confirmed ill with novel coronavirus in France
The coronavirus, an upper respiratory illness, is similar to the SARS virus, which spread from Asia in 2002 and 2003.
SARS killed 800 people worldwide.
Saudi Arabia has been the most affected with 15 deaths out of 24 confirmed cases.
Many of those dead are adult males.
There have also been cases in Britain and Germany.
The French patient had recently visited the UAE before contracting the virus.