New Coronavirus Kills 9 So Far, WHO ConfirmsMain Category: Flu / Cold / SARS
Also Included In: Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses
Article Date: 13 Mar 2013
The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that a new case of infection with nCoV (the novel coronavirus) has been reported in Saudi Arabia - the patient has died. So far, reports of human infection have been confirmed in the United Kingdom, Qatar, Germany and Saudi Arabia.
The novel coronavirus comes from the same family as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), it is less contagious but much more deadly. About 60% of people who get ill with the novel coronavirus die from the infection.
The latest novel coronavirus occurred in a 39 year-old male who developed flu-like symptoms on February 24th, 2013. He was admitted to a hospital on February 28th and died two days later (March 2nd).
An initial investigation has shown no evidence of him coming into contact with previously reported cases of nCoV infection. Health and agricultural authorities in Saudi Arabia are investigating other possible exposures, such as infected animals.
According to WHO, there have been 15 confirmed cases of humans becoming infected with nCoV, 9 of whom have died, a death rate of 60%.
Cases of the novel coronavirus infecting humans and making them ill have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Based on the situation at the moment and available data, WHO is asking all Member States to continue their surveillance of SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) and to carefully follow up and investigate any evidence of abnormal patterns.
WHO is currently liaising with experts from around the globe, several public health authorities where cases of nCoV infections in humans have been reported, as well as laboratories and centers of excellence.
WHO urges member states to:
About oronavirusesCoronaviruses belong to the subfamily Coronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae. They usually affect the respiratory tract of humans and other mammals. Coronaviruses are associated with the common cold, pneumonia and SARS. In some cases the virus may also affect the gut.
According to the HPA (Health Protection Agency, UK), the first Coronavirus was isolated in 1937 in a case of avian bronchitis. Apart from humans, coronaviruses can also infect cattle, pigs, horses, turkeys, cats, dogs, rats and mice.
Human coronaviruses (hCoV) were first identified in the naval cavities of patients with the common cold in the 1960s. About 30 percent of all common colds are caused by two human coronaviruses - 229E and OC43.
They are called coronaviruses because of the halo- or crown-like projections on their surfaces. "Corona" in Latin means "crown" or "halo".
Coronaviruses viewed under an electron microscope. See their halo/crown-like (corona) appearance
Scientists say there are several coronaviruses that can infect humans. sCoV is the one that causes SARS, the most widely-reported coronavirus, alongside the latest "Novel Coronavirus", also known as nCoV, Coronavirus 2012, or London1_novel CoV 2012.
sCoV (SARS virus) is completely different from all other coronaviruses we know of, because it is able to infect both the upper and lower respiratory tract. It can also cause stomach upsets.
Novel coronavirus is human-transmissible, but less so than SARSMany of the signs and symptoms in the 15 reported cases of human nCoV infection are similar to those found in SARS, experts stress that it is much less human transmissible (humans can infect others, but not easily). The HPA says it has compelling evidence that nCoV can spread from human-to-human.
Nobody knows how widespread nCoV infection is, neither do we know how 14 of the 15 confirmed cases became infected. In one case, in the United Kingdom, a person became infected as a result of close contact with an infected family member; he had never been to the Middle East and had not travelled abroad recently - the patient, who was being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, England, died last month. In the other 14 cases, all of them had been to the Middle East recently.
We do now know whether those 14 patients became infected after close contact with infected animals or humans.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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