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PARIS (AP) - France's health ministry says a French patient has died of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS - the first death in the country of the disease identified last year.

Most of those infected since the virus was identified last year had traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan.

There also have been cases in Britain and Germany.

The novel coronavirus is related to SARS, which killed some 800 people in a global epidemic in 2003.

The ministry said the Frenchman died Tuesday. His hospital roommate also tested positive for the illness.

The World Health Organization said in an update earlier this month that 20 of the 40 confirmed cases of the disease have ended in death.