A second case of a new respiratory illness similar to the Sars virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome) has been found in the UK. The patient had recently traveled to both Pakistan and the Middle East and is currently being treated in an intensive care unit in Manchester. Globally 10 cases have so far come to light, and five deaths have occurred, a mortality rate of 50%.
It’s a coronavirus,which is a large family of viruses that cause everything from the common cold to Sars and it’s spread through droplets shed when someone coughs or sneezes. 800 people died and thousands were sickened when the outbreak of sars occurred in 2002.
This coronavirus was first identified in September 2012 in a patient in Saudi Arabia who later died. Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) aid people who developed symptoms such as shortness of breath within 10 days of returning from the Arabian Peninsula and the surrounding regions should seek urgent medical advice and inform doctors of the countries and areas within those countries they have visited.
Its thought that the virus may be yet another zoonotic disease, a disease carried by animals that can be passed to humans. Research continues to find the source of the virus but some scientists feel bats may be the vector.
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Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!