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A public health official, Abdullakef al-Khal, said there is no indication that the patient’s family or others were infected.

`’There is no special alert for now,” he said. `’We are being vigilant.”

David Heymann, chairman of the Health Protection Agency, said the new virus didn’t appear that similar to SARS.

“It isn’t as lethal as SARS and we don’t know too much about its transmissibility yet,” he said. “If people are getting infected, they aren’t getting serious disease.”

Heymann said none of the health workers involved in treating the Qatari patient had fallen ill.

Saudi officials said they were concerned that the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage next month could provide more opportunities for the virus to spread. They advised pilgrims to keep their hands clean and wear masks in crowded places.

The Hajj has previously sparked outbreaks of diseases including the flu, meningitis and polio.

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Frank Jordans in Berlin and Abdullah Shihri in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, contributed to this report.