Sars-like tests were false-positive

Eight people initially thought to have contracted a SARS-like virus in Italy tested negative on Tuesday after a second round of controls, according to Italy's Superior Health Institute (ISS).

Sars-like tests were false-positive
Test samples were sent to the Superior Health Institute in Rome. Photo: Frederic Brown/AFP

An infectious diseases clinic in Florence on Monday said around 10 people had tested positive for the virus, but added that the results would have to be
double checked at the Health Institute.

Those concerned had been tested because they had come into contact with a sick man who brought the disease back from Jordan, but they did not show any
symptoms and had not been quarantined.

"There are no new clinical cases but surveillance of people who came into contact with the sick continue," said the head of the ISS's infectious disease
clinic Gianni Rezza.

Three cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been confirmed in Italy so far. A 45-year-old man who returned from a trip in Jordan was hospitalised last week, while a young girl from his family and one of his work colleagues were hospitalised on Saturday.

Around 60 people in total are being tested after coming into contact with the sick three, who are recovering well and are expected to be discharged from
hospital soon.

MERS-CoV — a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which sparked a worldwide health scare in 2003 when it lept from animals to humans
in Asia and went on to kill some 800 people — is believed to have killed around 30 people globally. 

Like SARS, the new virus appears to cause an infection deep in the lungs, with patients suffering from a temperature, cough and breathing difficulty.

But it differs from SARS in that it can also cause rapid kidney failure.

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British man found dead in Florence hotel named as ex-rugby league player

A man found dead in a hotel room in Florence was named by Italian media on Sunday as British former rugby league player Ricky Bibey.

British man found dead in Florence hotel named as ex-rugby league player

A man was found dead on Saturday in the Hotel Continentale after a woman he was with cried out for help, according to unconfirmed media reports.

Italian news outlets have identified the victim as Ricky Bibey, a two-time Challenge Cup winner with Wigan Warriors and St Helens. Police have yet to confirm the dead man’s identity.

Super League tweeted it was “saddened to hear of the passing of Ricky Bibey”.

“We thank Ricky for his contributions to the game and send our condolences to Ricky’s family and friends during this time”.

A maid rushed in to find the 43-year old woman bleeding heavily from serious injuries, and she was rushed to hospital, La Nazione daily newspaper said.

Bibey, 40, appeared to have died of a heart attack, it said.

Other guests at the Continentale, just next to the Tuscan city’s famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, reportedly heard shouts coming from the room.

Police seized objects including items possibly used in an erotic game, La Nazione said.