New SARS-Like Virus Claims More Lives

New SARS-Like Virus Claims More LivesA new SARS-like virus recently found in humans continues to spread — with the worldwide total now at 49, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Of the 49 known infections with the MERS-CoV virus, 27 have resulted in death, the organization said. The latest deaths were reported in Saudi Arabia.

‘Connection to the Middle East’

Although many of the cases have occurred on the Arabian Peninsula, people have died of the infection elsewhere. However, “all of the European cases have had a direct or indirect connection to the Middle East,” the WHO said earlier this month. But “in France and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among close contacts who had not been to the Middle East but had been in contact with a traveler recently returned from the Middle East.”

On Tuesday, a patient died in France after having contracted the virus during a trip to the Middle East, the WHO reported.


‘Tackle the virus’

Coronaviruses 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 WHO recently gave it a more specific name: Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.

Health officials do not yet know much about how the virus spreads, which makes it hard for scientists to prevent infections, Chan said. The WHO is calling for the world to pull together its resources to study and tackle the virus.

Have you experienced symptoms of infection of MERS-CoV? Do you think this virus is indeed a threat to the world?

Source: Ben Brumfield, CNN

Image: Press TV

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