New SARS-Like Virus Emerges In Middle EastMain Category: Flu / Cold / SARS
Also Included In: Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses
Article Date: 24 Sep 2012
Just a few days ago, the United Kingdom notified the World Health Organization of a case of acute respiratory syndrome with renal failure. This person had a travel history to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
This patient was a normally healthy 49 year-old Qatari national man, who started showing symptoms on September 3, 2012 - he had traveled to Saudi Arabia before the start of his illness. The individual was treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) in Doha, Qatar on September 7 and then transferred to the UK by air ambulance on September 11. This particular man is the second identified with this novel coronavirus. The first patient, from Saudi Arabia, has since died.
The Health Protection Agency of the UK (HPA) has completed laboratory testing and has confirmed the existence of a novel coronavirus characterized by acute respiratory syndrome. Symptoms include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
The HPA has compared the pattern of the virus distinguished from the 49 year-old Qatari national with that of a virus sequenced earlier by the Erasmus University Medical Center, Netherlands. The latter virus was obtained from lung tissue of a different fatal case earlier this year in a 60 year-old Saudi national. This comparison suggested a 99.5 percent match with just one nucleotide mismatch over the regions compared.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that include viruses that cause SARS and the common cold. This is an unfamiliar novel coronavirus, different from others previously identified in humans. The two confirmed cases have experienced a serious respiratory illness, making it similar to SARS but not identical.
It is possible that the connection between these two viruses suggest a wider but milder outbreak that has remained in the shadows, however, experts seem to think this is far-fetched, given that tracking systems are much more advanced than they were a decade ago.
The findings are still somewhat problematic because of the annual Haji pilgrimage to Mecca beginning soon and bringing millions of people from all over the world to the Middle East. The WHO has not yet suggested any travel restrictions.
Written by Kelly Fitzgerald
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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