Deadly New Virus Warning Issued By CDC After Novel Coronavirus Causes 8 Deaths
The Huffington Post | By Dominique Mosbergen Posted: 03/08/2013 2:58 pm EST | Updated: 03/08/2013 5:35 pm
In a cautionary report on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned of a deadly new virus that has sickened more than a dozen people and killed eight in the Arabian peninsula and the U.K. so far.
No cases of the new virus -- a coronavirus that experts say had previously never been seen in humans -- have been reported in the United States. Still, the CDC has advised anyone visiting countries in or near the Arabian peninsula, including Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to see a doctor if a fever or symptoms of a lower respiratory illness develop within 10 days of their travels.
As Reuters points out, the new virus is "part of the same family of viruses as the common cold and the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003."
Since April last year, a total of 14 people were confirmed to have been infected by the new coronavirus. Nine of them were infected in either Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Jordan; three people in the U.K. have also been infected.
"In the U.K., an infected man likely spread the virus to two family members. He had recently traveled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and got sick before returning to the U.K.," according to a CDC release on the virus. The man's son, one of the family members who was infected, died last month
A: The new virus is a beta coronavirus. It is different from other coronaviruses that have been found in people before. The novel coronavirus probably came from an animal.
A: No. The novel coronavirus is not the same virus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. However, like the SARS virus, the novel coronavirus is most similar to those found in bats. CDC is still learning about this new virus.
A: From April 2012 to March 2013, a total of 14 people from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Kingdom were confirmed to have an infection caused by the novel coronavirus.
For more information, see the World Health Organization (WHO).
A: Most people who got infected with the novel coronavirus developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Only one person experienced a mild respiratory illness.
A: In the UK, one infected person likely spread the virus to two family members. This cluster of cases provides the first evidence of person-to-person transmission. The UK's Health Protection Agency is continuing to investigate this.
A: So far, there are no reports of anyone in United States getting infected and sick with the novel coronavirus.
A: Yes. WHO and CDC have not issued travel health warnings for any country related to novel coronavirus.
For more information, see CDC's travel notice on Novel (New) Coronavirus in the Arabian Peninsula and United Kingdom.
A: If you develop a fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 10 days after traveling from countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries(1), you should see your healthcare provider.
A: There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by the novel coronavirus. Medical care is supportive and to help relieve symptoms.
A: Lab tests (polymerase chain reaction or PCR) for the novel coronavirus are available at CDC and other international labs. Otherwise, these tests are not routinely available.
A: For recommendations and guidance on the case definitions; infection control, including personal protective equipment guidance; case investigation; and specimen collection and shipment, see Case Definition & Guidance.
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