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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



Novel coronavirus infection – update


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.


Good humour helped nurse survive Sars


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 –

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 –

新病毒类似SARS 可人传人



































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

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



【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。



衛生部稱非SARS 港密切跟進





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。







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