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Posts tagged ‘SARS’

WHO revises up death toll from SARS-like virus


A medical technician performs tests for viruses (AFP)

The World Health Organization on Tuesday revised up the death toll from the SARS-like coronavirus from 18 to 20 worldwide, but said the two additional fatalities in Saudi Arabia were old cases.

GENEVA: The World Health Organization on Tuesday revised up the death toll from the SARS-like coronavirus from 18 to 20 worldwide, but said the two additional fatalities in Saudi Arabia were old cases.

“These are two deaths which are retrospective. They’re from an earlier outbreak,” WHO spokesman Glenn Thomas told reporters in Geneva, without providing further details.

Earlier Tuesday, the Saudi health ministry said four more cases of the SARS-like virus had been detected in the kingdom, bringing the number of cases there to 28 out of a global 38 cases.

While the virus has been deadliest in Saudi Arabia, where 15 people have died, cases have also been reported in Jordan, where two people have died; Germany, where one person has died; Britain, where two people have died; and France, where two patients are now in hospital in the northern city of Lille.

The virus is a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which triggered a scare 10 years ago when it erupted in East Asia, leaping to humans from animal hosts and eventually killing some 800 people.

– AFP/sb http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/who-revises-up-death-toll-from-sars-like/674714.html

 

Novel coronavirus infection – update

Coronavirus

2 MAY 2013 – The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has informed WHO of seven new laboratory confirmed cases of infection with the novel coronavirus (nCoV), including five deaths.

Two patients are currently in critical condition.

The government is conducting ongoing investigation into this outbreak.

Preliminary investigation show no indication of recent travel or animal contact of any of the confirmed cases. The confirmed cases are not from the same family.

From September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a global total of 24 laboratory confirmed cases of human infection with nCoV, including 16 deaths.

Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States (MS) to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns. WHO is currently working with international experts and countries where cases have been reported to assess the situation and review recommendations for surveillance and monitoring.

All MS are reminded to promptly assess and notify WHO of any new case of infection with nCoV, along with information about potential exposures that may have resulted in infection and a description of the clinical course.

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 be applied.

WHO continues to closely monitor the situation.

WHO – http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_05_02_ncov/en/index.html

Good humour helped nurse survive Sars

nurse_ST

 
By Melissa Pang

SINGAPORE – While in hospital with Sars, Ms Ashirdahwani Asmawi got an SMS from a friend that amused her so much that she forwarded it to others.

“Sars stands for Single And Really Sexy,” it read.

“My friends wondered how I could still joke about the near-death experience. But I said: ‘Well, if I die, at least I die happy,'” said the senior staff nurse, 34, whom everyone calls Ash.

It was this sense of humour, her Muslim faith, and the unwavering support of family, friends, and co-workers that helped her through the most harrowing 28 days of her life.

She had cared for some nurses who were warded for flu-like symptoms at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) as well as the first Sars patient and her mother when she was infected in March 2003.

From battling high fevers that hovered around 40.9 deg C, she went on to suffer giddiness, and lost weight and hair. After nine days, the breathlessness became so serious that even going to the toilet from her bed left her panting and unable to talk.

When her hands and legs turned blue because her body was being deprived of oxygen, doctors suggested the intensive care unit.

“But thinking about people who went to ICU and the stories of them not making it out alive really scared me. I told myself I’m not going there, no matter what,” said Ms Ashirdahwani.

So she moved from the Communicable Disease Centre to a normal isolation ward, even though the low oxygen level in her body put her in danger.

“I was very scared. But I was not ready to die as I had not repented and I hadn’t told my parents I loved them.”

But she pulled through and got married, and her fears of not being able to conceive because of the illness proved unfounded. Today, she has two boys and two girls between three and eight years old. A fifth is on the way.

The experience has also changed her perspective as a health-care worker.

“Most of us tend to tell patients that we understand how they feel,” said Ms Ashirdahwani, who is also a clinical instructor at TTSH, teaching junior nurses.

“But actually, I did not really understand until I myself got sick. So I’m very careful about the words ‘I understand’ now. Because we can never understand others until we have gone through the same thing.”

AsiaOne – http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/good-humour-helped-nurse-survive-sars

SARS—like virus has low chance of spreading in S’pore: MOH

SARS—like virus has low chance of spreading in S’pore: MOH

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Health Ministry has said that chances of the new SARS—like virus spreading in Singapore are low, especially since severe secondary infections among the close contacts of the cases is uncommon.

13 cases involving the novel coronavirus have been reported in the Middle East and United Kingdom since April last year.

The Health Ministry said it has not received any reports of such cases here.

It is also keeping close watch on the developments of the new virus, and working with the World Health Organisation and the international community to remain vigilant for the emergence of new cases of novel coronavirus infection.

All hospitals and clinics have been told to immediately report any suspicious cases.

This comes as Singapore remembers the SARS outbreak, which claimed 33 lives 10 years ago.

The memories remain vivid for healthcare workers who were on the front—line then.

Vasanthi Palanivelu, patient service associate at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said: “During the SARS period, 13 of us got infected and I was one of them. One of my nursing officers has passed on. We were sad for her but we took our courage to come back together. We never had any intention of running away from the work, as we’re really proud of being healthcare workers.”

Having been through the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, the Health Ministry said it has a whole—of—government national crisis management system in place with plans and capabilities to deal with a pandemic if one should occur.

— CNA/xq – http://goo.gl/D1kDn

新病毒类似SARS 可人传人

2002年SARS疫情在中国广东顺德首发,並扩散至全球,直到2003年中期疫情才逐渐被消灭。图为2003年,广州一名患者在医院治疗。

2002年SARS疫情在中国广东顺德首发,並扩散至全球,直到2003年中期疫情才逐渐被消灭。图为2003年,广州一名患者在医院治疗。
(伦敦14日讯)英国卫生官员已掌握了强而有力的证据,证明一种类似严重急性呼吸道综合症(SARS)的冠状呼吸系统病毒,可以人传人。

英国又有一人证实感染了类似SARS的新型冠状病毒(NCoV),使当地的確诊病例增加至3宗。

第3例病人目前在伯明翰伊丽莎白女王医院特护病房治疗。但这名患者最近没出国,因此不是在外国受感染,但他和当局周一宣佈的另一名患者是亲戚,后者最近曾到过中东和巴基斯坦。

英国健康保护局呼吸系统疾病部主任沃特逊在声明中指出,虽然这宗最新病例提供了强而有力的证据,显示新型冠状病毒能够通过人类传播,但如此染病的风险还是非常低的。如果病毒的確很容易在人际接触中传播的话,那么应该会检测到更多的感染病例。

此前,世界卫生组织(WHO)因为病人来自同一个家庭,而不能就此病毒的人传人性质得出结论。现在英国的最新病例中,患者完全没有在外国感染病毒的机会,因此很肯定地证明了病毒的人传人性质。

中东最高危

去年,沙地阿拉伯有一个家庭的4名成员染病,其中两人死亡;病毒也可能在约旦一家医院的加护病房內传播,造成將近12人染病。

从去年9月证实首宗病例至今,全球已经有11例確诊病例报告,5人死亡。被感染者都出现肺部发炎、部分还有肾衰竭。

由于感染新病毒的患者都曾到过沙地阿拉伯或卡塔尔等地,故中东是感染的高危地区,患者多数有动物接触史,例如绵羊和骆驼,但至今仍未知病毒源头。

另据俄新网消息,俄罗斯军队医护领域消息人士表示,去年12月26日至今年1月7日期间,莫斯科郊区军营已有4名士兵因病死亡,医生初步诊断为「SARS型性肺炎」。

世卫组织周一发佈公告说,新病例属于散发病例,没有改变世卫组织对新型冠状病毒风险评估级別。但是新病例表明该病毒是「持续性的」,所有成员国应继续监控严重急性呼吸系统感染,並仔细检查所有的异常病例。

该组织还建议对原因不明的肺炎病例、治疗无效的严重或复杂病例,尤其是居住或去过阿拉伯半岛以及周边国家的病例,进行新型冠状病毒检测。

柬埔寨6人禽流感丧命

柬埔寨一名3岁女童因感染H5N1禽流感病毒不治,使柬埔寨今年至今已有6人死于禽流感。

世卫组织与柬埔寨卫生部周三联合发表声明指出,这名女童来自南部贡布省,她在首都金边的一家儿童医院病逝。

化验证实,她感染禽流感的H5N1病毒菌株,而她染病之前,曾在所住的乡村与家禽接触。

全球夺365命

柬埔寨卫生部长曼本亨说:「H5N1病毒菌株仍是柬埔寨人民卫生的严重威胁,尤其是儿童。」

自2003年以来,柬埔寨出现28宗感染H5N1病毒菌株病例,其中3宗是致命病例。4人包括一名17个月大女童和一名5岁女童,先后在上月和上周死于这种病毒。迄今全球有365人感染丧命。

在中国,贵州省有两人確诊感染禽流感H5N1,其中一名21岁的女性病患在周三上午因病情恶化、多器官功能衰竭,经贵州省人民医院抢救无效死亡。另一名男性病患病情危重,仍在救治。

禽流感通常藉著人类与禽鸟接触而传染,但多名专家担心病毒一旦变异,將更易人传人,甚至引发流行性疾病。

流感病毒从未消失过

SARS之后的10年以来,人类又经歷了禽流感、A(H1N1)型流感、A(H3N2)型流感等严重的传染病疫情,中国呼吸道疾病权威专家钟南山说:「流感病毒离我们並不遥远,而且从未消失过」。

加拿大《星岛日报》报导,2002年至2003年那场SARS爆发时,成年患者的死亡率高达50%。而现在,新的冠状病毒出现了,公眾的神经又紧绷起来。

除了SARS之外,流感病毒也从未远离。中国和英国科研人员甚至发现,华人容易感染A(H1N1)型流感病毒,这和一个基因(RS12252-C)有关。这也说明为什么新流感病毒总是先在亚洲出现。

不应忽视爆发性

在2003年抗击SARS中成名的钟南山表示,自2009年A(H1N1)型流感肆虐全球至今已经过去了3年多,在这期间,流感一直是处于低流行的状態,但他认为,绝不应该忽视流感爆发的可能性。

「气候是有周期性的,人体节律和內分泌是有周期性的,疾病同样如此,有低流行的时期,也会有小高峰的时期,更会有大高峰的时期,是呈周期性发作的。流感小高峰的周期一般是3至5年!」

虽然威胁从未远离,但人类也从未停止过与病毒的斗爭。以SARS为例,快速突变被认为是病毒適应环境改变的关键,但美国北卡罗来纳州大学和田纳西州私立的范德比尔特大学的研究人员最新发现,加速突变反而影响了SARS病毒对动物的致病能力。

这一篇文章发表在《自然—医学》杂誌上,为科学家们製造更安全的活病毒疫苗开闢了新途径。

资料档:冠状病毒多样化

冠状病毒因为在电子显微镜下可见如日冕般外围的冠状而得名。此病毒是个「大家庭」,包含各种各样的病毒,其中一种就是常人所称的SARS。而最新发现的这种病毒(NCoV),和以前在人类身上发现的其他病毒都不同。

2002年SARS疫情在香港爆发,然后迅速扩散到多个国家和地区,夺走约800条生命。2003年SARS疫情得到控制,但病毒没消失。病毒通过唾液或体液传播。

New SARS virus linked to bats

File photo: A tourist has his temperature checked by health workers at the Hong Kong international airport as a precautionary measure against SARS. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / Vincent YU)

Scientists in the Netherlands said they had sequenced the genetic code of a viral sample taken from a 60-year-old man whose death in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in June triggered fears that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was returning in a new guise.PARIS : A novel strain of the deadly SARS virus that sparked a health scare this year is closely related to a virus found in Asian bats, according to a study published on Tuesday.

The new strain, called HCoV-EMC/2012, is part of a viral family called coronavirus, but in a specific category called betacoronavirus.

Its closest known cousins are a strain found in lesser bamboo bats (Tylonycteris pachypus) and another found in Japanese house bats, Pipistrellus abramus.

“The virus is most closely related to viruses in bats in Asia, and there are no human viruses closely related to it,” said Ron Fouchier of the prestigious Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam.

“Therefore we speculate that it comes from an animal source,” he said, noting that Pipistrellus bats are present in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring
countries.

An epidemic of SARS erupted in China in 2002, eventually claiming around 800 deaths in some 30 countries.

Bats were linked with a novel strain of SARS found in 2005. Hong Kong researchers found a natural “reservoir” of it in Chinese horseshoe bats.

Two other men have also fallen sick in the latest SARS episode.

One is a Qatari man who had been in Saudi Arabia and is being treated at a hospital in London.

There is 99.6-99.7 per cent similarity between his strain and the virus sequenced in the Netherlands, said Fouchier in a press release.

“They are the same species,” he said, adding that the difference was sufficient to suggest that the men had been infected by different sources.

The other is a Saudi man whose case was announced earlier this month by the Saudi health ministry, which on November 4 described him as cured.

The genomic sequence of that virus is not yet available, Fouchier said.

The World Health Organization said that what set the new virus apart from SARS was that it causes rapid kidney failure.

Fears rose last month over the potential spread of the virus during the Muslim hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. But the kingdom’s health ministry
repeatedly reassured pilgrims that no epidemic outbreaks had been registered.

The new paper appears in mBio, an online journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

– AFP/il/CNA

傳爆SARS 河北軍醫院未見異樣


被傳有病人感染SARS的河北省保定中國人民解放軍252醫院,昨晚無武警把守,氣氛亦不見緊張,醫院運作如常。(明報記者攝)

 

【明報專訊】內地網上近日流傳指河北省保定中國人民解放軍252醫院收治逾100名病人,懷疑感染SARS。本港衛生防護中心昨日聯絡上衛生部,衛 生部初步確認並非SARS疫情,內地有關部門稍後將發送及通報相關消息。本報記者昨晚到達保定252醫院,但並無武警把守,不見氣氛緊張,醫院運作如常。

 

香港衛生防護中心表示,會繼續與衛生部密切跟進事件,並監察最新事態發展。

衛生部稱非SARS 港密切跟進

 

內地近日網上流傳一則信息,指「河北保定中國人民解放軍252醫院現在收治100人以上,已有致死者出現非典變異,第一例患者是在保定的清苑榮校查出來的,現在住院的大部分都是年輕的戰士,因為那是解放軍醫院,發病前到南方訓練。」

 

有內地網民在微博留言稱保定252醫院被封,因有變異病毒出現。內地搜狐微博向當地人員查詢,院方稱沒有封院,一切正常,醫院護士也表示並沒有出現變異病毒,只是近期高燒病人增多。

無武警把守 保定市民無戴口罩

 

本 報記者昨晚到達保定252醫院,但並無武警把守,不見氣氛緊張,醫院運作如常。一名姓王的保安說,近日天氣寒冷,感冒求診者增多,但不會是SARS,「如 果是(SARS),都不會是我們保安守着,整間醫院都會戒嚴了」。記者又詢問幾名保定市民,都有聽說過SARS傳言,但也都不敢保證消息確實,在火車站、 街上等人流聚集的地方,並未見有人戴口罩等防備。

 

醫管局總感染控制主任曾艾壯醫生表示,本港已有一套應變SARS的機制和設施,醫管局設有1400張有負氣壓設施的傳染病隔離病牀,實驗室有SARS病毒快速測試劑,數小時便有結果。

 

即使隔離病牀被醫院徵用作其他服務,若SARS爆發,醫院只需3日便可回復隔離病房之功能。他說若有證據顯示有SARS爆發迹象,醫管局會聯同衛生防護中心啟動應變機制,但最擔心較難找出第一個發病源頭。

 

防護中心發言人說,香港與內地設有完善的溝通管道,包括嚴重急性呼吸系統綜合症SARS的通報機制,確保能及時互換有關傳染病事件以及爆發的重要消息和資料。

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