Home > Pestilence > Global Health Officials Worried As Two New Viruses in Middle East And China Could Spark Possible World-Wide Outbreak

Global Health Officials Worried As Two New Viruses in Middle East And China Could Spark Possible World-Wide Outbreak


By MARIA CHENG, Associated Press – “LONDON (AP) — Two respiratory viruses in different parts of the world have captured the attention of global health officials – a novel coronavirus in the Middle East and a new bird flu spreading in China.

Last week, the coronavirus related to SARS spread to France, where one patient who probably caught the disease in Dubai infected his hospital roommate. Officials are now trying to track down everyone who went on a tour group holiday to Dubai with the first patient as well as all contacts of the second patient. Since it was first spotted last year, the new coronavirus has infected 34 people, killing 18 of them. Nearly all had some connection to the Middle East.

The World Health Organization, however, says there is no reason to think the virus is restricted to the Middle East and has advised health officials worldwide to closely monitor any unusual respiratory cases.

At the same time, a new bird flu strain, H7N9, has been infecting people in China since at least March, causing 32 deaths out of 131 known cases.

WHO, which is closely monitoring the viruses, says both have the potential to cause a pandemic – a global epidemic – if they evolve into a form easily spread between people. Here’s a crash course in what we know so far about them…” Read more.

France Confirms New Case Of Deadly SARs-Like Virus – “French health authorities said on Sunday that a second person infected with a deadly new SARS-like virus coronavirus has been transferred to intensive care after his condition worsened. The man fell ill after sharing a hospital ward with the first victim identified in France… Two more potential cases were also being investigated. The regional health authority said the first man, who was hospitalised after returning from a holiday in Dubai in April, was in a ‘very serious but stable condition’.” Read more.

WHO Says New Coronavirus May Be Passed Person To Person – “This comes after the French health ministry confirmed a second man had contracted the virus in a possible case of human-to-human transmission. Two more people in Saudi Arabia are also reported to have died from the virus, according to health officials. NCoV is known to cause pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure. World Health Organization (WHO) officials have expressed concern over the clusters of cases of the new coronavirus strain and the potential for it to spread.” Read more.

Categories: Pestilence
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