Germany's national health institute says a patient from Qatar has been confirmed to have had a new type of coronavirus but it has shown no signs of being easily transmitted like the related virus that caused the 2003 global SARS outbreak.

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Reinhard Burger, president of the Robert Koch Institute, the German institute for disease control, speaks to reporters last year in Berlin. Authorities at the institute say a patient from Qatar confirmed to have had a new type of coronavirus, was treated and released. (Tobias Schwarz/Reuters)

The Robert Koch Institute said Friday the patient fell ill in Qatar in October with severe respiratory problems. He was treated in a specialty clinic in Germany for a month and released this week.

Britain's Health Protection Agency confirmed based on samples that he was sickened by a new coronavirus detected so far only in four other people, from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The Koch institute says there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Some 8,500 people were affected by SARS in 2003 and about 900 died, including 44 in Toronto.