WHO: New SARS-Like Virus Is A Threat To The World

WHO New SARS-Like Virus Is A Threat To The WorldA new SARS-like virus recently found in humans is “a threat to the entire world,” according to the director-general of the United Nations’ World Health Organization.

‘Not SARS’

Novel coronavirus is part of a family called coronaviruses, which cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as well as a variety of animal diseases. However, the new virus is not SARS.

The virus had infected 44 people worldwide as of last week, most of them in the Middle East, according to the World Health Organization’s most recent update Thursday. Half of them have died. Also in its Thursday update, the WHO appeared to have given the novel coronavirus a name: Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.


‘Not yet known’

Novel coronavirus acts like a cold virus and attacks the respiratory system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. But symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea have also been seen, according to the WHO.

It’s not yet known how humans contract the virus, experts have said. Most of the cases so far have been seen in older men with other medical conditions; precise numbers are hard to come by, as officials don’t know how many people might contract a mild form.

Cases have been identified in eight countries including France and Saudi Arabia, according to the WHO. Other European countries include Germany and the United Kingdom. No cases have been reported in the United States, but infectious disease experts have said it would not be surprising.

Are you alarmed by this health news? Do you know of a similar case in your place?

Source: CNN

Image: The Voice of Russia

West Nile Virus Cases Highest Ever Recorded In U.S.

The recent West Nile virus outbreak is the largest ever seen in the United States, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cases reported to the CDC as of Tuesday total 1,118, including 41 deaths. Here are five things you need to know about West Nile virus:

1. Most mosquitoes do not carry West Nile.

In areas where mosquitoes carry the virus, only about one in 500 mosquitoes is infected, according to the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program.

2. Most people bit by West Nile mosquitoes do not get sick.

About 80% of people bit by a mosquito infected with the West Nile virus do not get sick, according to the CDC. About 20% will have relatively mild symptoms, such as fever, headache and vomiting. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days or as long as a few weeks. About one in 150 people infected with West Nile will develop a severe illness, which can include paralysis, coma or death.


3. You can help prevent West Nile with the “four Ds.”

• Use mosquito repellent with DEET

• Dress in long pants and long sleeves

• Be especially careful at dusk and dawn

• Drain any standing water, such as kiddie pools or bird fountains, where mosquitoes like to breed.

4. People over 50 are most vulnerable.

Those older than 50 are the most likely to become severely ill with West Nile and should take special care to avoid mosquitoes, according to the CDC.

5. Seek medical care immediately if you have severe headaches or confusion.

If you develop symptoms of severe West Nile virus illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately, according to the CDC. Severe illness usually requires hospitalization. Milder cases improve on their own and do not necessarily require medical attention.

Have you been infected with the West Nile virus? Tell us how you have battled or prevented this infection from afflicting you and your household!

Source: CNN

Image: The Inquisitr