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Friday 23.02.2018 | Name days: Haralds, Almants

Dangerous respiratory virus identified in UK

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A new respiratory illness similar to the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus has been identified in a 49-year-old British man.

The patient, who was transferred to a London hospital by air ambulance from Qatar, is the second person confirmed with the coronavirus. The first case was a patient in Saudi Arabia who has since died.

Officials are still determining what threat the new virus could pose. So far the World Health Organization has not recommended any travel restrictions, reports BBC.

“In the light of the severity of the illness that has been identified in the two confirmed cases, immediate steps have been taken to ensure that people who have been in contact with the UK case have not been infected, and there is no evidence to suggest that they have,” says Prof John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the UK’s Health Protection Agency.

“Further information about these cases is being developed for healthcare workers in the UK, as well as advice to help maintain increased vigilance for this virus,” he adds.

However, for the time being there is no specific evidence of the virus spreading from person to person.

“We have no advice for the public or returning travellers,” Watson says.

It should be added that the new virus is different from any coronaviruses that have previously been identified in humans.

SARS is a severe respiratory infection that triggered a global outbreak back in 2002. It spread from Hong Kong to more than 30 different countries and killed around 800 people. Its spread was fully contained a year later.

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