Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Biological Alert: New SARS-like Virus is a 'Threat to the entire World'/First coronavirus sufferer in France dies | Reuters/CNN/WHO

Update:

Monday, June 3, 2013


Biological Alert: Coronavirus - MERS-CoV Spreads to Italy | Reuters/CNN/WHO

 

(CNN)-[The sometimes deadly MERS-CoV virus has spread to Italy, the World Health Organization said in statements this weekend.
Sunday's announcement that two female patients had contracted the virus follows one Saturday that said a 45-year-old man, who had recently traveled to Jordan, had become infected. They are the first three known cases in Italy.
Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, acts like a cold virus and attacks the respiratory system, the U.S.-based 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.


Of the 53 known infections with the virus, 30 have resulted in death since September 2012, the organization said. Precise data are not available on the total number of people who have been infected because it is difficult to tell how many get a mild form of the infection.]


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First coronavirus sufferer in France dies in hospital | Reuters

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["The world needs to pull together its resources to properly tackle the virus which, Chan said, is her "greatest concern" at present.
"We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat," she said, and more information is needed "quickly" and "urgently."
"We do not know where the virus hides in nature. We do not know how people are getting infected. Until we answer these questions, we are empty-handed when it comes to prevention. These are alarm bells. And we must respond," she said.] Chan,Director/General - WHO
 
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New SARS-like virus is a 'threat to the entire world'

By CNN Staff
updated 8:34 PM EDT, Tue May 28, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "These are alarm bells," said World Health Organization director-general
  • NEW: The WHO dubs the virus MERS-CoV
  • Patient with novel coronavirus dies of organ failure, French hospital reports
  • Half of those diagnosed with the virus have died, experts say
(CNN) -- A 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.

The so-called novel coronavirus "is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself," Margaret Chan said Monday in her closing remarks at the 66th World Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.


The world needs to pull together its resources to properly tackle the virus which, Chan said, is her "greatest concern" at present.

"We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat," she said, and more information is needed "quickly" and "urgently."

"We do not know where the virus hides in nature. We do not know how people are getting infected. Until we answer these questions, we are empty-handed when it comes to prevention. These are alarm bells. And we must respond," she said.


 
Coronavirus reported in France

 
Health workers infected with coronavirus

 
What is coronavirus?

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.

A 23rd death was reported Tuesday, when a French hospital and the French government reported a man diagnosed with the coronavirus had died of organ failure.

The patient, the first of two people to be diagnosed with novel coronavirus, died at University Hospital of Lille, where he had been treated since May 9.

The man contracted the virus while visiting the Arabian Peninsula, said Marisol Touraine, France's minister of social affairs and health, in a statement.

The second patient, also male, was in stable but very serious condition, the hospital said. One of the patients shared a room with the other and contracted the virus.

Joint WHO missions with Saudi Arabia and Tunisia will take place as soon as possible, with the goal of gathering the facts needed to conduct a risk assessment, Chan said Monday.


Earlier this month, the WHO said two health care workers in Saudi Arabia became ill while treating patients.

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.

Journalist Saskya Vandoorne contributed to this report.

First Coronavirus sufferer in France dies in hospital - Reuters

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LILLE, France | Tue May 28, 2013 4:41pm EDT
(Reuters) - France reported its first death from the new SARS-like coronavirus on Tuesday and Saudi Arabia, where the virus first emerged last year, said there were five new cases.
French Health Minister Marisol Touraine sent her condolences to the family of the 65-year-old man who died in hospital in the northern city of Lille after visiting Dubai, bringing the worldwide death toll to 23.
The man was diagnosed with the virus strain, known as nCoV, on May 8, after being admitted to hospital on April 23, shortly after his return from Dubai, with what seemed at first to be a severe stomach bug and breathing problems.
A second man, aged 50, is critically ill with the virus in the same hospital. Health officials have screened dozens of people who had come into contact with the two carriers.
The Saudi Health Ministry said there were five new cases - all people aged between 73 and 85 who were already suffering chronic illnesses. They were all in the Eastern Region where most cases recorded in the kingdom have been found.
WHO experts visiting Saudi Arabia to consult with the authorities on the outbreak have said it seemed likely the new virus could be passed between humans, but only after prolonged, close contact.
The novel virus, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, has spread from the Gulf to France, Britain and Germany. It is from the same viral family that triggered the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that swept the world in late 2003 and killed 775 people.
 

(Additional reporting by Sami Aboudi in Dubai; Writing by Catherine Bremer; Editing by Mark John and Robin Pomeroy)



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