Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) began to receive reports of human cases with SARS-like infections caused by a new coronavirus. According to WHO, 30 cases of this new illness have been found and 60% of the infections have been fatal. So far, the cases have been limited to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and France. Symptoms are pretty serious and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most of the people infected have required hospitalization. It looks like the virus spreads person to person, but scientists don’t yet know enough to say for sure.
CDC, WHO, and other public health organizations are looking into all severe acute respiratory cases, especially those with recent travel to the Arabian Peninsula to identify any new cases of the virus and learn more about how it might be spreading. No cases have been found in the US. Here’s some up to date information if you’re interested in learning more.
Yesterday I blogged about what we’ve learned since we first discovered SARS.