Sunday, September 30, 2012

Update on Coronavirus patient

Began to regain consciousness and talking with his companions

Reversing the spread of "Corona" in the body of the citizen

Brother of the patient's flag: raise breathing apparatus within 10 days

Doctors assured that the patient exceeded the worst

Patient out of the hospital within two week

Brother of the patient revealed the country infected with "Corona" that doctors treating the patient in London confirmed that the virus has subsided in the patient's body significantly and that his health condition has improved significantly .. Expecting to be removing a respirator from a patient within 10 days. 
And renewed thanks and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir and HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Crown Prince on assuming the costs for treatment and follow up the case of his brother.

The brother of the patient to the flag, that his brother began yesterday in preponderating gradual and restore consciousness, where he met the Issaahbunh in the room of his relatives and grabbed the hands of his sons and talk to them in simple words, which he described doctors as an indicator of the significant improvement in the health status of the patient.

He added: medical team for my brother assured us yesterday that the virus "Corona" ended its full body and began to recede and all improvement indicators are increasing day after the other in terms of the return of all members of the body to work efficiently and return the proportion of oxygen in the blood to normal, confirming that the patient exceeded the worst stage of the disease.

He continued: the medical team explained to us all the details of the therapeutic process, which is currently, which has become now limited to treatment of all complications and adverse effects of the virus on the body and suggested that it Almrahj if it continued positive indicators as they are to come out the patient from the hospital within two weeks, but will remain in London as a period of convalescence and follow-up has not yet been determined.

He explained that officials of the Supreme Council of Health follow now the health status of my brother, but said he was Libenge on the Council to send a medical team to accompany the situation and follow-up phases of treatment and techniques adopted by the hospital in Britain and contributed to save his life, even as a reference on how to deal with the virus, "Corona "New case of the emergence of other cases, particularly that his brother is the only case in the world hit by the virus and treated him.

The World Health Organization announced that a deadly new virus from the same family as the virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome "SARS" does not spread easily among humans apparently. In the latest statement on the virus, WHO said the United Nations was working with international partners to develop a better perception of the risk posed by the virus to public health.

She said: "It seems the information available so far that the virus coronal new can not pass easily from one person to another .. Because of the severity of the two cases confirmed laboratories injuries WHO continues to monitor the situation in order to provide the Member States ways to deal with it as well as the experience and appropriate assistance."

According to the medical instructions issued by the World Health Organization for its Member States the 149 state that the workers in the medical field to alert anyone showing symptoms of infection severe respiratory and call his treatment in the hospital and was in the Middle East by monitoring the virus or was connection with the case confirmed or suspected during the previous ten days. The organization did not recommend travel restrictions because of the new virus, but said it was working closely with the Saudi authorities on sanitary measures during the Hajj season.

He said experts in the health sector that progress has already been achieved in defining the nature of the new virus and its genetic composition and in the development of accurate diagnostic tests and specific. The organization said it is working with laboratories in several countries to make these tests available as soon as possible.

Confirmed that the press conference was to raise awareness of the virus and not talk about the patient
Board of Health: constant monitoring of the state of the patient, "Corona"

The Supreme Council of Health that the continuous follow-up of the patient's condition country infected with "Corona", which addresses one of the hospitals in the UK, through the Department of treatment abroad for necessary action towards the patient.

The Supreme Council of Health, in response to a report published by the flag on the evolution of the patient's condition, that coordination continues to therapeutic level by specialists Hospital Hamad General doctors intensive care unit in London and under the supervision of a medical office there, where they are raising the medical reports and regularly about the patient's condition, he was most recently on September 26, a day before one of the published flag where the report included some positive developments.

The Council noted that the Hamad General Hospital has to provide the maximum possible therapeutic service to the patient during the period he was at the hospital until the moment of his .. Adding that cause of the disease was discovered the day after the patient's arrival to London, and this is due to the fact that the virus is not known in advance.

He said that the press conference of the Council on September 24 was designed to deliver information about the disease formally to avoid rumors and community awareness by and procedures precautionary other, as new diseases or incident that may pose a threat to the health of the individual and society, not to talk about the patient or how interest in it, where it is the inherent right of every citizen and resident.

And other details that have been published, the Board considered it things can be pursued between health and the patient's family through customary channels, and to safeguard his privacy and the rights of patients .. The following is the text of a reply:

/ Saleh bin Afassan Kuwari esteemed

Editor of The Peninsula glue

Peace be upon you and God's mercy and blessings,

Guide you the Supreme Council of Health presents his compliments and large appreciates your efforts in serving the nation and the citizen, and would like to clarify the following:

Referring to the subject contained the esteemed Bgeridtkm issued on Thursday, September 27, the number (11100) on the development of "case patient Corona"

We would like to clarify the following:

He has Hamad General Hospital to provide maximum therapeutic service to the patient during the period he was at the hospital until the moment of his departure, noting that cause of the disease was discovered the day after the patient's arrival to London, due to the fact that the virus is not known in advance.

Thus, the press conference held by the Supreme Council of Health dated September 24, was designed to deliver information about the disease formally to avoid rumors and community awareness by and procedures precautionary other being new diseases or incident that may pose a threat to the health of the individual and society, not to talk about the patient itself or how interest in it as this inherent right of every citizen and resident.

And renew the Supreme Council of Health emphasized that the through management treatment abroad work necessary to the patient and that coordination continues to therapeutic level by specialists Hospital Hamad General doctors intensive care unit in London and under the supervision of a medical office there by raising the medical reports and regularly, most recently on September 26 - one day before the publication of the news in your newspaper and referred to in this Todahana - where the report included some positive developments.

As regards other details mentioned in the news sees the Supreme Council of Health as things can be pursued between health and the patient's family through customary channels and to safeguard his privacy and the rights of patients.

This is necessary clarification,

Please accept our sincere greetings and appreciation.

Mad cow disease detected in Ukraine

Mad cow disease detected in Ukraine

  2012-09-29 07:18:10

KIEV, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- A case of mad cow disease has been confirmed in Ukraine, the first in two years, reported the authorities on Friday.
A cow from a private household in the central Vinnitsa region was found to behave aggressively on Tuesday, the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry said in a statement.
The cow was slaughtered the next day and tests confirmed that the cow was infected with mad cow disease, it said.
The new case posed no risk to human health as all farmers in contact with the cow were vaccinated, said the ministry.
Local authorities have sealed off the village where the infected cow was found to prevent the spread of the disease.
Mad cow disease, which attacks the central nervous system, is thought to be spread mainly in contaminated feed, when animals consume the meat of infected animals. It attacks an animal through hard-to-destroy protein forms called prions, which can multiply in the brain, reducing it to a spongy wreck.

Israel-Health Ministry issues emergency orders for treatment of lethal virus

WHO officials say it is too early to tell how big a threat a recently discovered coronavirus will be since it is unknown how it spreads and whether it will evolve

 September 30, 2012, 5:13 am 
Israeli doctors who encounter patients suspected of having contracted a newly discovered lethal virus have been ordered by the Health ministry to place the patients under strict quarantine, Ynet reported on Saturday.
The Health Ministry issued emergency directives to doctors and medical practitioners on how to treat patients they suspect of suffering from the SARS-like coronavirus that killed one person in Saudi Arabia, including taking precautions such as wearing face masks and gloves when coming into contact with them and sanitizing rooms they were present in...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Germany- almost 9000 children and teachers ill

Ill almost 9000 children and teachers
authorities are cautious

Nearly 9000 children and young people in East Germany are suffering - much more than initially announced. Meanwhile, there are the first clues to the cause: In some cases, the highly contagious norovirus detected. With a rating to restrain the authorities. Too large, the uncertainty after the scandal was EHEC.

Also, the State Laboratory Berlin-Brandenburg studied food samples of affected schools. It's a review yet.
(Photo: Reuters)
Of the massive gastrointestinal diseases in East Germany more children and adolescents are affected than previously known. "Nationwide, almost 9000 cases of disease known", said the spokesperson of the Berlin health management with on Saturday afternoon. In Saxony and Thuringia, now the highly infectious norovirus was detected. But in evaluating these results, the authorities are careful. You appear to have drawn lessons from the sometimes chaotic EHEC crisis management. Whether noroviruses are the main source is, therefore, remains unclear...

[link to

WHO says only severely ill should be tested for new virus

Sep 29, 2012 - 19:47
By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - Doctors should only test people for a new virus if they are very ill in hospital with a respiratory infection, have been in Qatar or Saudi Arabia and test negative for common forms of pneumonia and infections, the World Health Organisation said on Saturday.

The newly discovered virus from the same family as SARS has so far been confirmed in only two cases worldwide, one in a 60-year-old Saudi man who died from his infections, and another in a man from Qatar who is critically ill in a London hospital.

In updated guidance issued six days after it put out a global alert about the new virus, the WHO said suspected cases should be strictly defined to limit the need to test people with milder symptoms.

But it added anyone who has been in direct contact with a confirmed case and who has any fever or respiratory symptoms should also be tested.

The WHO said in a statement its new case definition was designed "to ensure an appropriate and effective identification and investigation of patients who may be infected with the virus, without overburdening health care systems with unnecessary testing."

The United Nations health agency said on Sunday a new virus had infected a 49-year-old Qatari who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia, where another man with an almost identical virus had died.

The virus is from a family called corona viruses, which also includes viruses that cause the common cold and SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which emerged in China in 2002 and killed around a tenth of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide.


A spokeswoman for Britain's Health Protection Agency, where scientists analysing samples from the Qatari man found a match with the fatal Saudi case last weekend and reported their finding to the WHO, said on Saturday the 49-year-old was still in intensive care.

He is being cared for at St Thomas's hospital, where he has been connected to an artificial lung to keep him alive.

The WHO says there is so far no evidence to suggest the potentially fatal virus spreads easily from person to person. Scientists say the genetic makeup of the virus suggests it may have come from animals, possibly bats.

The WHO has been collaborating with laboratories such as the HPA and another lab in the Netherlands which were responsible for the confirmation of new virus.

"These laboratories have been working on the development of diagnostic reagents and protocols which can be provided to laboratories that are not in a position to develop their own, and these are now available," it said.

But it stressed only patients who fulfilled strict criteria - including having severed respiratory syndrome, requiring hospitalisation, having been in Qatar or Saudi Arabia or in contact with a suspected or confirmed case, and having already been tested for pneumonia.

"The essence is that this is not for people with coughs and colds,
" WHO spokesman Glenn Thomas told Reuters.

Six suspected cases in Denmark last week turned out to be false alarms and Thomas said it was important "to alleviate the burden of testing" by ensuring health authorities and members of the public understand the criteria for a suspected case.

China Quarantine intensified to block new virus' entry

 BEIJING - China's top quarantine authority on Saturday ordered a three-month intensifiedquarantine to prevent the entry of a new type of coronavirus.
In a statement on its websitethe General Administration of Quality SupervisionInspection andQuarantine demanded boosting body temperature monitoring and other medical inspections ontravelers from BritainSaudi Arabia and Qatarafter the World Health Organization (WTOsaidthe new virus has left a Qatari citizen in critical condition in London.
The administration also requires travelers from the three nations to inform China's entry-exitinspection and quarantine institutions if they develop acute respiratory symptoms such asfevercough or shortness of breath.
Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that includes viruses that cause the common cold andsevere acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The 49-year-old Qatari man began showing symptoms on Sept 3, and he had traveled to SaudiArabia prior to the onset of illnessHe was transferred to Britain on Sept 11, and laboratorytests there confirmed the presence of a novel coronavirusaccording to the WHO

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry

Novel coronavirus infection - update - revised interim case definition

 WHO has continued to monitor the situation. No additional confirmed cases have been reported and there is no evidence so far of person to person transmission of the novel coronavirus.
In order to ensure an appropriate and effective identification and investigation of patients who may be infected with the virus, without overburdening health care systems with unnecessary testing, a revised interim case definition has been issued by WHO (see related links to right of this page). It should be noted that this case definition was developed based on data from two confirmed cases and as such some degree of clinical judgment is required where individual cases are concerned.
WHO has been cooperating closely with the laboratories which were responsible for the confirmation of the presence of the novel coronavirus in the two confirmed cases. These laboratories have been working on the development of diagnostic reagents and protocols which can be provided to laboratories that are not in a position to develop their own, and these are now available. WHO is now seeking to broaden the number of laboratories that will be able to assist Member States with the detection or confirmation of this novel virus.
WHO has received offers of support from a number of major public health institutions around the world to assist with testing, should the need arise. The complete nucleic acid sequence of the virus has been uploaded to Genbank and the testing protocol, utilizing real-time PCR, has been published.
WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions are applied.
WHO continues to inform its Member States through the designated National Focal Points under the International Health Regulations (2005).

German officials count 8,400 kids affected by food-borne illness

Saturday, Sep. 29, 2012 12:00PM EDT 
BERLIN -- German health authorities say the number of children that have fallen ill with vomiting and diarrhea after eating food from school cafeterias and daycare centres has risen from about 4,500 to 8,400.
Authorities in Berlin and the surrounding eastern German states reported the new gastroenteritis cases Saturday, while laboratory investigations to determine the exact cause of the outbreak were still under way.
Berlin's health department says the sicknesses are moderate and most children recover within two days without requiring to be hospitalized.
In Saxony state, at least 16 cases of norovirus, a mostly food- or water-borne illness, were proven, according to German news agency dapd.
The government-affiliated Robert Koch Institute said Friday that all facilities where the illness occurred likely received food from a single supplier.

Read more:

Friday, September 28, 2012

W.H.O to declare Uganda Ebola free

W.H.O to declare Uganda Ebola free
Following Yesterday’s Plea from the Muslim Community with the fear of not going for Pilgrimage until the Country is declared Ebola free. The Ministry of Health has today spoken out that it will officially declare an end to the outbreak on the 4th of October after completing what is has called the 42 days of post Ebola Surveillance phase. The Ministry also implies that this period of time is a prerequisite of the World Health Organisation


Germany Disease with diarrhea and vomiting wave spreads

More than 6000 children affected

Disease with diarrhea and vomiting wave spreads

Food distribution in a school (Photo: AP)Enlarge ImageThe children apparently infected by the school lunches.The wave of gastrointestinal disorders meets more and more children and young people in East Germany. More than 6000 patients who continue to suffer from diarrhea and vomiting cafeteria food were, according to media Specifying now registered in Saxony, Thuringia, Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt.
The cause of one of the largest national gastrointestinal disease waves of recent years is still open, a spokeswoman for the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). In Berlin, the authorities have norovirus and natural poisons (toxins) as a possible causative agent in sight. From the perspective of the German Society for Hospital Hygiene salmonella or norovirus could be the cause of the disease. "In any case, it must have given hygiene errors in production," board member Klaus-Dieter Zastrow said, referring to the food....

Germany- Noroviruses or school lunches - diarrhea cause still unclear

Search for the cause is a race against time - There are conflicting hypotheses

Chemnitz. In the search for the cause of the wave of vomiting and diarrhea in schools in Saxony, Thuringia, Brandenburg and Berlin, the authorities are still groping in the dark. Saxony Health Ministry announced on Friday that there was a "first sign of norovirus" as the cause. When Berlin's Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which is investigating the nationwide expansion of the disease wave, however, argue that this is cause for very unlikely.
Seasons Because it is not unreasonable that are currently found among the more than 6500 patients nationwide sporadic norovirus sufferers RKI spokeswoman Susanne Glasmacher said Friday the "Free Press". Each year we counted over 100,000 norovirus cases in Germany. The transmitted from person-to-person infection does not explain, however, the current dimension of the simultaneous outbreak of diseases. "That does not lay within two hours flat entire school classes," judged the RKI spokeswoman. As before, you go out of a food-borne infection, since many of the affected facilities were supplied by the same food suppliers. The supplier in question has a responsibility according to internal investigations so far by itself, has tightened its hygiene standards, but by its own account.
The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety now coordinates the research on the origin and distribution channels of the food. At the country level official run laboratory tests of food samples. In Thuringia, where the State Office of foodstuffs examined samples from the menus suspected standing service, results were still pending yesterday...

Canadian doctors to combat Ebola outbreak in the DRC

The Canadian Press
Published Friday, Sep. 28, 2012 2:33PM EDT 
WINNIPEG -- The Public Health Agency of Canada says a team of specialists will soon be en route to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help combat a deadly Ebola outbreak.
The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg will deploy one of its mobile units to the country which has been reeling from the outbreak since May.
Chief of special pathogens Dr. Gary Kobinger says a team of three scientists will be on the ground to help diagnose and treat Ebola cases as they arise.
It's the latest of several international relief missions for the NML, which has sent one of its mobile units out into the field about once a year for the past decade.
The lab has been sent to Congo twice before to help with outbreaks in the impoverished African country.
The World Health Organization says there have been at least 51 confirmed cases during the most recent outbreak, 20 of which have been fatal. Read more:

Thousands of children suffer from gastrointestinal infectionauthorities fear noro-virus outbreak in the East...

The mass occurrence of gastrointestinal infections in children still ensures guesswork. Meanwhile, the number of patients has increased to 6700 - in Berlin alone there are 2500 cases. The Ministry of Health has set up a task force.
The Social Ministry in Erfurt confirmed that in the contaminated school lunches all suggest the existence of the highly contagious noro virus . Federal and state governments established a joint coordination and investigation team.

Noro virus or poison?

In Berlin alone had until Friday afternoon, according to the state health secretary Emine Demirbüken-Wegner (CDU) 2176 known cases of disease - so has the number of people affected has more than doubled. One child was treated on Friday still in the hospital.Affected in the capital, a total of 58 schools and 22 kindergartens. . A school and a day care center remained closed on Friday , the Berlin Infection Protection Commissioner Marlen Suckau According to trigger the wave of infection two theses were in the room: Norovirus or a toxin. The final outcome is not yet available, it is determined in all directions. The Secretary of State for Health, Emine Demirbüken-Wegner (CDU) showed its concern: "We are investigating to feverishly, what it is." She stressed, however, that this did not constitute serious illnesses. In two weeks, the management expects results.

Several thousand children sick in four East German states

In Saxony until Friday afternoon around 2000 cases were announced in eleven counties, such as the Ministry of Health announced in Dresden. 17 schools and high schools have so far been closed as a precaution. Brandenburg from 1749 cases were reported. In Thuringia, were, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs to Friday morning reported 764 illnesses in 34 facilities - is still rising. Three of the four children who had to be hospitalized in the past few days could have been turned into fired. The disease wave with vomiting and diarrhea Tuesday evening had begun.

Catering company denies the blame

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), all cases are due to cafeteria food in schools and child care facilities that are apparently supplied by the same supplier with food. "So, everything points to a foodborne outbreak," said RKI spokeswoman Susanne Glasmacher.
This catering company Sodexo refused the responsibility. There was "still no logical connection between the suppliers and the reported cases of illness" that suggested food supplies as the cause, the company said on Friday in Rüsselsheim. Only a small part of the equipment supplied disease cases had occurred. The previously instructed increased hygiene measures could provisionally maintained.

"Task force" of federal and state

The federal government and the affected countries established a "Task Force" under the auspices of the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), such as the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection announced on Friday. The examination of the goods and delivery routes potentially affected foods will continue over the weekend with high pressure. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has been turned on. Federal Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner (CSU) said that goal must be to find the cause of the disease as quickly as possible and stop the entry into the food chain...

Anatomy of the Discovery of the Deadly Bas-Congo Virus

Virus hunters published a paper today in the science journal PLOS Pathogens, describing how a team spanning a number of institutions identified a deadly virus unknown to exist until it killed three people within a few days in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They used sophisticated technologies and techniques to detect the new virus, which could cause fatal hemorrhagic fever outbreaks similar to Ebola. Research like this can isolate viruses before they can cause epidemics...

Yosemite expands hantavirus testing to allpark workers

 September 28, 2012, 10:32 AM

  Yosemite National Park will offer hantavirus testing to up to 3,000 park workers to determine if they have ever been infected with the deadly mouse-borne virus, officials said Thursday.

The testing to be done by state health officials will be voluntary and available to all workers for the National Park Service and its concessionaire, DNC Parks and Resort, park spokesman John Quinley said. He declined to say when the testing would start.

Ebola: Uganda Muslims barred from pilgrimage to Mecca

By FRANCIS MUGERWA & AL-MAHDI SSENKABIRWA | Friday, September 28  2012 at  18:16
Some 900 Ugandan Muslim pilgrims could miss taking part in the annual pilgrimage in the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina following Saudi Arabian authorities’ refusal to issue visas to the group on the basis that the country is not yet Ebola-free.
Sheikh Ibrahim Kirya, the chairperson Uganda Hajj Mission, said despite Ebola being contained, the Saudi Arabian Government was not yet convinced to clear the pilgrims.
“We have done our part to convince the Saudi authorities, but we have not achieved much yet. We are now seeking the intervention of our government so that Hajj companies don’t lose huge sums of money they have spent,” he said.
The annual Hajj begins on October 18.
Plans by medical officials to declare Kibale District Ebola-free have been pushed to October 4 following advice from the World Health Organisation.
“We received technical advice from WHO to extend the counting from 21 to 42 days after discharging the last positive patient from the hospital,” the district health officer, Dr Dan Kyamanywa, told the Daily Monitor on Tuesday.
There were plans to declare the district Ebola-free on Friday.
“Patients who were discharged are fully integrating in communities. But we are continuing with public sensitisation and mobilisation. We have noted remarked improvement in public and personal hygiene after the (Ebola) outbreak was confirmed,” Dr Kyamanywa added.
However, Mr John Mugabi, 35, a farmer, who was discharged from Kagadi Hospital after testing negative claimed he has never fully integrated in the communities.
“People still shun me. They think I am Ebola positive. I feel stigmatised. I have failed to resume my business,” Mr Mugabi, a resident of Butumba B Village, Nyanseke Parish, said.
Kagadi Hospital last received two suspected Ebola cases in mid September and they tested negative.

Animals suspected in spread of new virus related to SARS

London — Britain's Health Protection Agency has published an early genetic sequence of the new respiratory virus related to SARS that shows it is most closely linked to bat viruses, and scientists say camels, sheep or goats might end up being implicated, too.
So far, there are no signs the virus will be as deadly as SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed hundreds of people, mostly in Asia, in a 2003 global outbreak.
In Geneva, WHO spokesman Glenn Thomas told reporters Friday that so far the signs are that the virus is "not easily transmitted from person to person" — but analyses are ongoing.
Global health officials suspect two victims from the Middle East may have caught it from animals.
"It's a logical possibility to consider any animals present in the region in large numbers," said Ralph Baric, a coronavirus expert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Biologists now need to go into the area and take samples from any animals they can get their hands on, including camels and goats," he said. Baric said it was crucial to find out how widespread the virus is in animals and what kind of contact might be risky for people.
Baric suggested bats might be spreading the virus directly to humans since the two confirmed infections happened months apart. "If there was an established transmission pattern from other animals, we probably would have seen a lot more cases," he said.
The World Health Organization said it is considering the possibility the new coronavirus sickened humans after direct contact with animals. The agency is now working with experts in the Middle East to figure out how the two confirmed cases got infected but could not share details until the investigation was finished.
One patient was a Saudi Arabian man who died several months ago while the other is a Qatari national who traveled to Saudi Arabia before falling ill and is currently in critical but stable condition in a London hospital.
Earlier this week, WHO issued a global alert asking doctors to be on guard for any potential cases of the new respiratory virus, which also causes kidney failure.
Saudi officials have already warned that next month's annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage, which brings millions to Saudi Arabia from all around the world, could allow the virus to spread. As a precautionary measure, they are advising pilgrims to keep their hands clean and wear masks in crowded places.
Experts said knowing where a virus comes from provides clues on how to stop it.
"This means we could prevent the fire before it starts instead of rushing towards it with fire trucks and water hoses afterwards," said Michael Osterholm, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Minnesota.
Osterholm said it was possible bats had simply passed on the virus from other animals and that there could be a complicated transmission chain that ultimately ended in humans.
Viruses reproduce as they infect animals and people, giving them more chances to evolve into a deadlier version.
"We don't know enough about coronaviruses to predict which mutations might make them more lethal or transmissible," Osterholm said. "But you don't want to tempt genetic fate with microbes because you're bound to lose most times."

New SARS-like virus not spreading easily between people: WHO

Friday, 28 September 2012 

A new and potentially fatal virus from the same family as SARS which was discovered in a patient in London last week appears not to spread easily form person to person, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

In an update on the virus, which has so far killed two Saudis and made a patient from Qatar critically ill, the United Nations health agency said it was working with international partners to understand the public health risk better.

“From the information available thus far, it appears that the novel coronavirus cannot be easily transmitted from person-to-person,” it said in a statement.
The WHO put out a global alert on Sunday saying a new virus had infected a 49-year-old Qatari who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia, following the death of two other Saudis from the same virus.

The Qatari was described as critically ill on Tuesday and is being treated in a London hospital. No new confirmed cases of infection with the virus have since been reported, the WHO said.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told reporters in Geneva that rapid progress was being made in characterizing the disease and developing diagnostic tests, which would be made available as quickly as possible, according to AFP.

The new virus shares some of the symptoms of SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, another coronavirus, which emerged in China in 2002 and killed around a tenth of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide.

Both patients who have so far been confirmed with the virus suffered kidney failure.

“Given the severity of the two laboratories confirmed cases, WHO is continuing to monitor the situation in order to provide the appropriate response, expertise and support to its member states,” the WHO statement said, according to Reuters.

Scientists at the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which monitors disease in the European Union, said initial virology results and the separation in time of the only two confirmed cases suggest the infection may have developed from animals. Such diseases are known as zoonoses.

“(It) is quite probably is of zoonotic origin and different in behavior from SARS,” the scientists wrote in a “rapid communication” study in the online journal Eurosurveillance.

The WHO’s clinical guidance to its 194 member states says health workers should be alert to anyone with acute respiratory syndrome and requiring hospitalization who had been in the Middle East where the virus was found or in contact with a suspected or confirmed case within the previous 10 days.

The U.N. agency has not recommended any travel restrictions in connection with the new virus, but said it was working closely with Saudi authorities on health measures for Muslims making the haj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Health experts said rapid progress has already been made in figuring out the nature and genetic makeup of the new coronavirus, and in the development of sensitive and specific diagnostic tests.

The WHO said it is working with laboratories in various countries to make these tests available as quickly as possible.