Quantcast

Tuesday, July 29, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 1 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

SARS-linked virus may have spread between people

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:58 a.m. HST, Feb 13, 2013


LONDON >> British officials say a mysterious virus related to SARS may have spread between humans, as they confirmed the 11th case worldwide of the new coronavirus in a patient who they say probably caught it from a family member.

The new virus was first identified last year in the Middle East and the 10 people who have previously been infected had all traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan.

According to Britain's Health Protection Agency, the latest patient is a U.K. resident with no recent travel to any of those countries but who had close personal contact with an earlier case. The patient may also have been at greater risk of infection due to an underlying medical condition and is currently in intensive care at a Birmingham hospital.

"Although this case provides strong evidence for person to person transmission, the risk of infection in most circumstances is still considered to be very low," John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the Health Protection Agency, said in a statement. "If (the) novel coronavirus were more infectious, we would have expected to have seen a larger number of cases."

The new coronavirus is part of a family of viruses that cause ailments including the common cold and SARS. In 2003, a global outbreak of SARS killed about 800 people worldwide.

Officials at the World Health Organization said the new virus has probably already spread between humans in some instances. In Saudi Arabia last year, four members of the same family fell ill and two died. And in a cluster of about a dozen people in Jordan, the virus may have spread at a hospital's intensive care unit.

"We know that in some of those cases there was close physical contact between family members caring for one another, so we can't rule out human-to-human transmission," said Gregory Hartl, a WHO spokesman.

He said there were still big gaps in the understanding of the novel coronavirus, which can cause acute pneumonia and kidney failure. Of the 11 cases to date, five people have died.

Health experts still aren't sure how humans are being infected. The new coronavirus is most closely related to a bat virus and scientists are considering whether bats or other animals like goats or camels are a possible source of infection.

WHO says the virus is probably more widespread than just the Middle East and has advised countries to test any people with unexplained pneumonia.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 1 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(1)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
cojef wrote:
More like goats and muttons as Arabs shun pork and tolerate beef. The article fails to indicate whether it is a pandemic disease, only to point out about the 10 cases reported in England. It did point out 5 individuals out of 11 died, either of pneumonia or kidney failure.
on February 13,2013 | 08:32AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout