Over 700 people died from an outbreak of sars between 2002 and 2003 (Wiki Commons)

A second case of a deadly Sars-like virus has been identified in Manchester, bringing the total number of people afflicted by the disease worldwide to 10.

The Health Protection Agency confirmed another case of novel coronavirus has been diagnosed in a UK resident who had recently travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan.

They are receiving treatment in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Manchester.

So far, five people have died from the disease - three in Saudi Arabia and two in Jordan.

Coronaviruses are what cause the common cold but can also result in more severe illnesses, including Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

The new virus was identified in September last year after a patient died from a severe respiratory infection in June 2012.

Sufferers presented symptoms of fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA, said the Agency "is providing advice to healthcare workers to ensure the patient under investigation is being treated appropriately and that healthcare staff who are looking after the patient are protected. Contacts of the case are also being followed up to check on their health.

No travel restrictions

"Our assessment is that the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains extremely low, and the risk to travellers to the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries remains very low.

"No travel restrictions are in place but people who develop severe respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, within ten days of returning from these countries should seek medical advice and mention which countries they have visited."

He said that since the first case was diagnosed in the UK, the HPA has been working with national and international authorities, as well as producing an updated guide for UK health professionals.

Other than Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UK, the only other country to identify a case of the virus is Germany. This patient has since been released from hospital.

The other UK patient with the disease is still receiving treatment in hospital.

Professor Maria Zambon, director of reference microbiology services at the HPA, said: "A battery of laboratory tests have been developed by the HPA to test for coronavirus infection when cases of severe respiratory illness are identified, which are not explained by other infectious causes.

"In mid-November the HPA published the full genome sequence from the first UK patient, enabling scientists around the world to understand more about the diversity of this virus.

"This will help with efforts to determine the origin of the virus and develop strategies for treatment and prevention."