Earth Watch Report - Epidemic Hazards
New SARS-like virus can probably pass person-to-person
Published on May 13, 2013
May 13 – New SARS-like virus can probably pass person-to-person with Saudi Arabia having the biggest cluster of cases. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
|12||12.05.2013||Epidemic Hazard||Saudi Arabia||Eastern Province, Al-hasa|
|Updated:||Sunday, 12 May, 2013 at 15:47 UTC|
|Two more people have died from novel coronavirus, a new strain of the virus similar to the one that caused SARS, in an outbreak in al-Ahsa region of Saudi Arabia, the deputy health minister for public health said on Sunday. Ziad Memish said that in the latest cluster of infections, 15 cases had been confirmed, and nine of those patients had died.|
Panic grips Saudis amid fears of SARS-like virus
May 13, 2013 05:03 PM
A Saudi health ministry official visits patients infected with a new SARS-like virus at a hospital in the eastern Saudi province of al-Ahsaa on May 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/STRRIYADH: Panic gripped Saudis in the country’s east on Monday, where most cases of the deadly Coronavirus have been detected, witnesses said, as the death toll from the SARS-like virus in the kingdom hit 15.
Scores of people have reported to the emergency services at hospitals in the city of Al-Ahsa in Eastern Province, after showing even the slightest signs of a fever.
“I felt the symptoms of a cold, accompanied by a fever,” a young man told AFP by telephone from one hospital where he was admitted and placed in quarantine.
“I came to hospital. The symptoms disappeared by the end of the day, but I am still kept in a quarantine with other patients, which scares me,” he said, asking to remain anonymous.
All cases admitted to hospitals in Al-Ahsa region have been placed in isolation, Saudi authorities said.
A total of 13 cases have been detected in the King Fahd hospital, in Al-Ahsa.
The minister said on Sunday that three new suspected cases had been identified.
Virologist: Coronavirus will cause an epidemic but docs are better prepared this time
CAIRO (Reuters) – The doctor who discovered a new SARS-like virus says it will probably trigger an epidemic at some point, but not necessarily in its current virulent form.
The new strain of coronavirus (nCoV) that Ali Mohamed Zaki found last year, related to one that caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, has killed at least 18 people in the Middle East and Europe.
On Sunday, the World Health Organization said it seemed likely the new virus, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, could be passed between humans, but only after prolonged, close contact.
Zaki, an Egyptian virologist who identified the new virus last June in a patient at the hospital where he was working in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, noted in a telephone interview on Monday that no one else at that hospital had been infected at the time.
More recently, there has been a cluster of cases in a hospital in Hofuf in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern province, as well as a case of transmission between two patients sharing a hospital room in France.
Zaki, now working at Ain Shams university in Cairo, said the virus was probably mutating. “From what is going on, it seems it is going step-by-step to become more easily transmitted,” he told Reuters.
But he said doctors and authorities were in a better position to deal with an outbreak than they had been with SARS because the new virus had been identified relatively early:
“Now we have the virus before the epidemic happened – and I think it will happen – and we have tools to diagnose it.”
LESSONS OF SARS
- Epidemic Hazard – Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province, Al-hasa : UPDATE (familysurvivalprotocol.com)
- Saudi Arabia: Coronavirus spreads to Riyadh, Jeddah (updated) (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Saudi Arabia: MOH confirms 7th coronavirus death in Al-Ahsa (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Panic grips Saudis amid fears of SARS-like virus (channelnewsasia.com)
- “Panic” grips Saudis over MERS (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Saudis panic over SARS-like outbreak (rawstory.com)
- Two more people die of novel coronavirus in Saudi Arabia (uk.reuters.com)
- Fears grow over deadly new virus (bbc.co.uk)
- Two People Dead From SARS-Like Virus In Saudi Arabia, Two More Infected In France (zerohedge.com)
- SARS-like Virus in Saudi Has Killed 15, Says Health Minister (medindia.net)