GENEVA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Friday that it has been notified of four additional cases of a new type of coronavirus, including one death, which brings the total of laboratory confirmed cases to six.
Three of them, including the fatal case, were identified in Saudi Arabia, and the other one is in Qatar, the WHO said.
The two most recently confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia are from the same family, living in the same household. They presented with similar symptoms of illness. One died and the other recovered, according to the WHO.
It also being reported that two other members of this family presented with similar symptoms, where one died and the other is recovering. Laboratory results of the fatal case are pending, while the other case was tested negative for the new coronavirus.
WHO encouraged all member states to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and is currently reviewing the case definition and other guidance related to the novel coronavirus.
Until more information is available, it is prudent to consider that the virus is likely to be more widely distributed than just the two countries which have identified cases, WHO added.
"Member states should consider testing of patients with unexplained pneumonias for the new coronavirus even in the absence of travel or other associations with the two affected countries," it said.
WHO stressed any clusters of SARI in health care workers should be thoroughly investigated regardless of where they occur.
Before these fresh cases, Saudi Arabia reported one fatal case and Qatar reported one.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which includes viruses that cause the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).