Italian authorities said on Sunday that “the situation is under control” after the first three cases of the deadly SARS-like coronavirus were detected in the country.
Three people were hospitalized in Florence over the past week — a 45-year-old man from Jordan employed in one of the city’s hotels, his 2-year-old niece and a female co-worker.
“At the moment, the situation is under control,” Italian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said.
“The conditions of the people involved are being monitored, and even the baby is getting better,” she said.
The deadly strain of coronavirus, called MERS-CoV, was first discovered in 2012 in a man in Saudi Arabia. France, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Tunisia and Britain have also reported infections.
On Friday, the World Health Organization said there had been 50 laboratory-confirmed cases of the new virus, including 30 deaths.
Coronavirus belongs to the same group of viruses as SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which 10 years ago killed about 800 people.