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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry hasconfirmed that a second person in the kingdom has contracted a newrespiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to three the number of thosesickened by it in the Gulf region in recent weeks.

The Ministryin a statement Monday said the unidentified patient was hospitalizedwith "pneumonia caused by the new virus known as novel Coronavirus." Itsaid the patient has since recovered from his pneumonia, adding that hehad not traveled outside Riyadh. It did not say when, where, or how theperson contracted the virus.

The germ is a coronavirus, from afamily of viruses that cause the common cold, as well as SARS - thesevere acute respiratory syndrome that killed some 800 people, mostly inAsia, in a 2003 epidemic.