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

Daily Soft Drink Increases Diabetes Risk

Daily Soft Drink Increases Diabetes RiskDrinking one or more cans of sugary soft drinks a day is linked to an increased risk of diabetes in later life, a study suggests. A can a day raises the relative risk of Type-2 diabetes by about a fifth, compared with one can a month or under, say European scientists. The report in the journal Diabetologia mirrors previous US findings.

‘Calorific’

A diabetes charity recommends limiting sugary foods and drinks as they are calorific and can cause weight gain. The latest research was carried out in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, France and the Netherlands. Some 350,000 individuals were questioned about their diet, as part of a large European study looking at links between diet and cancer.

“The consumption of sugar sweetened soft drinks increases your risk of diabetes – so for every can of soft drinks that you drink per day, the risk is higher,” lead researcher Dora Romaguera from Imperial College London told BBC News.


‘Deleterious effect on health’

She called for clearer public health information on the effects of sugary soft drinks: “Given the increase in sweet beverage consumption in Europe, clear messages on its deleterious effect on health should be given to the population,” Dr Romaguera and colleagues conclude in their research paper.

Gavin Partington, director general of the drinks industry body the British Soft Drinks Association said: “Soft drinks are safe to consume but, like all other food and drink, should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.”

How many glasses or cans of soft drinks do you consume in a day? Do you think you are in danger of having diabetes later on in life?

Source: BBC News

Image: The West Australian