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Posts tagged ‘coronavirus’

Coronavirus death reported in Qatar


Doha: The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) in Qatar has announced the death of a patient infected with Coronavirus.

A 56-year-old Qatari woman, who was battling several health complications after being infected with the virus, died after she was admitted to the intensive care unit at Hamad General Hospital Aug 23, the SCH said Tuesday.

Tests conducted by the National Influenza Laboratory in Doha have confirmed that the deceased was infected by the deadly virus.

The woman is the second Qatari to die after being infected with the virus, the first being a man whose death was reported a few months ago from London.

Two more people, both Qataris aged 29 and 59, are being treated for the infection at Hamad General Hospital.


via Coronavirus death reported in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia warns pilgrims over coronavirus

Millions of Muslims travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia every year
Health officials in Saudi Arabia have asked pilgrims visiting its holy sites to wear masks in crowded places to stop the spread of the MERS coronavirus.

A list of requirements issued by the health ministry also tells elderly people or those with chronic diseases to postpone their pilgrimage.

Thirty-eight people have died from the virus in Saudi Arabia.

Millions of Muslims from around the world are expected to take part in the Hajj this October.

Once a year, pilgrims make the journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia and pray together before the Kaaba.

Muslims also travel to the site at other times, as well as visiting the Masjid Al-Nabawi, or Mosque of the Prophet, in Medina.

Health officials urged people taking part to maintain personal hygiene standards, use a tissue when sneezing and coughing, and have the necessary vaccinations.

The MERS (Middle East respiratory-syndrome) coronavirus emerged in the Arabian peninsula in September 2012 and is part of a large family of viruses, which includes the common cold and Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

The World Health Organization has so far confirmed of a total of 80 cases of infection, including 44 deaths worldwide.

Saudi Arabia introduced requirements for polio immunisation certificates in 2003 after fears of a resurgence of the virus.

via BBC News – Saudi Arabia warns pilgrims over coronavirus.

5 more infected with SARS-like virus in Saudi Arabia

A foreign staff nurse walks on her way to a hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (AFP/Fayez Nureldine)


RIYADH: The Saudi health ministry said on Tuesday it has recorded five new cases of a deadly SARS-like virus in the east of the oil-rich kingdom.

It identified those affected as elderly people aged between 73 and 85 who had been grappling with chronic illnesses.

The announcement came as France’s first victim of the nCoV-EMC novel coronavirus — a cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that sparked a world health scare in 2003 — died on Tuesday.

The 65-year-old man is thought to have contracted the virus in Dubai, and a man who shared a hospital room with him in France is also affected.

Saudi Arabia counts by far the most cases of the new virus, with more than 30 confirmed infections and 18 fatalities. Cases have also been detected in Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, and Britain.

The virus, which has killed 24 people so far, was last week redubbed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS.

SARS erupted in East Asia 10 years ago, leaping to humans from animal hosts and eventually killing some 800 people.

Like SARS, the new virus appears to cause an infection deep in the lungs, with patients suffering from a temperature, cough and breathing difficulty, but it differs from SARS in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.

– AFP/jc

Fifth coronavirus death reported


The source of the virus is uncertain
By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News

A fifth person has died from a new respiratory illness similar to the Sars virus, according to the World Health Organization.

The WHO said the two latest deaths were in Jordan. The disease had previously been detected only in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, although one patient was transferred to the UK for treatment.

It brings the total number of cases of the infection to nine.

There may also be evidence of human to human spread of the virus.

It causes pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure.

There was a series of severe cases of pneumonia in Jordan earlier in the year. However, the novel coronavirus had not been discovered at the time so did not appear in routine tests.

Two of the deaths in April have now been confirmed as being part of the outbreak.


Coronaviruses are a group of viruses ranging from the common cold to the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus. They infect a wide range of animals.

In 2002 an outbreak of Sars killed about 800 people after the virus spread to more than 30 countries around the world.

The WHO is still trying to work out where the infection came from. Studies show that the virus is closely related to one found in some species of bats.

How readily the virus spreads will be important for assessing how great a threat it poses.

The WHO said that, unlike Sars, the new coronavirus, “does not appear to transmit easily between people”.

However, it warns that two clusters in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, “raise the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission” or they could have been exposed to the same source of the infection.


New coronavirus: May be ‘bat bug’

Bat in flight
Similar viruses have been found in Japanese house bats and lesser bamboo bats, not pictured.

Bats may be the source of a new Sars-like virus which killed a man in Saudi Arabia, according to an analysis of the coronavirus’ genome.

Two other people have been infected and one, who was flown to the UK for treatment in September, is still in intensive care.

Experts, writing in the journal mBio, said the virus was closely related to other viruses in bats.

It is thought the virus does not pass readily from one person to another.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses ranging from the common cold to the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus. They infect a wide range of animals.

In 2002 an outbreak of the Sars coronavirus killed about 800 people after it spread from Hong Kong to more than 30 countries around the world.

Genetic code

The new coronavirus was detected after a 60-year-old man died of pneumonia and kidney failure in Saudi Arabia in June.

A second man, who was brought to the UK from Qatar, still needs an artificial lung to stay alive.

The UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) published the full genetic sequence of the case in London earlier this month.

Dr Ron Fouchier, from the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands, analysed the case from Saudi Arabia.

He said both cases were related, but it looked as though the men had been infected separately from animals rather than the virus being passed between people.

“The virus is most closely related to viruses in bats found in Asia, and there are no human viruses closely related to it therefore, we speculate that it comes from an animal source.”

Prof Maria Zambon, the director of the HPA’s reference microbiology services, said bats were a natural reservoir of coronavirus: “There’s some in cats and in humans, but the broadest range is found in bats.”

However, she said it was not “definitively” from bats as the virus could have spread to another animal first, which then passed the virus onto humans.

Researchers are trying to determine if the virus will be a “dead end” infection which can spread only from animal to person, like rabies, or will be able to spread from one person to another like HIV after it made the jump from primates.

Prof Zambon said there were “fairly strong steers” that it would be a dead end. Health care workers who came into contact with the patients “don’t seem to be ill” but full blood test results are still needed, she said.


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