World Health Organisation experts will visit a Saudi hospital where the Sars-like coronavirus has spread, killing seven people.

France reported its first case today, detected in a 65-year-old Frenchman who had recently returned from Dubai with the virus. It has also spread to Britain, Germany, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE. The French case brings the known cases worldwide to 31, of whom 18 have died.

Coronavirus is from the same viral family as the one that triggered the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome that swept the world from Asia in 2003, killing 775 people.