By Shaik Mohammed Rizwan
The new virus (NCov) belonging from the same family that triggered the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that swept the world after emerging in Asia and killed about 80 people in 2003 appears centered in the Arabian Peninsula and Europe. Most of those infected since the virus was identified had travelled to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan or Pakistan. There also have been cases in Britain and Germany. NCoV is known to cause pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure and cause respiratory infections in both humans and animals.
The official Saudi Press Agency said that one patient was treated and released from a hospital, while three others remain under medical care. Saudi authorities have so far reported nearly 30 cases since the virus was identified last year. Officials had been monitoring a recent outbreak at a Saudi health care facility in which 15 people were infected. Other cases have appeared in France, Germany and Britain, possibly linked to travel in the Gulf region. The first patient, confirmed last year, was a 60 year-old who died in Saudi Arabia. The second patient, a 49-year-old Qatari, first showed symptoms in September and the infection was confirmed by the Health Protection Agency’s laboratories in Colindale, north London.
This novel coronavirus has killed at least 18 people since September 2012. Last week, officials reported that a 65-year-old French man who had traveled to the United Arab Emirates developed the novel infection. French officials confirmed its second case of the disease in the man’s roommate, adding evidence that it may be transmitted in humans.
A pamphlet advising travellers on measures to avoid getting sick, such as frequently washing hands or avoiding animals, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough is being made available at French airports. The pamphlets also list worrisome symptoms to watch for, such as fever, shortness of breath, cough and difficult in breathing.
It has been suggested that the new virus should be called Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Dr Siouxsie Wiles, a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at the University of Auckland, says that an interesting feature of MERS-CoV was that “the majority of infections have occurred within health care facilities, such as hospitals, as has been reported in France.” Officials are trying to track down all people who had contact with the second patient in France as well as all those who traveled to Dubai on an organized tour with the man initially diagnosed with the virus.
World Health Organization officials visiting Saudi Arabia to consult with the authorities on the outbreak said on Sunday it seemed likely the new virus could be passed between humans, but only after prolonged, close contact. The World Health Organization has asked doctors to be vigilant about travelers who develop the respiratory infection returning from affected areas and have expressed concern over the clusters of cases of the new coronavirus strain and the potential for it to spread.
A recent study found that two anti-viral drugs, ribavirin and interferon-alpha 2b, can help slow the replication of the virus in human cells. This may potentially help reduce the risk of complications such as kidney failure.
However, there is currently no effective vaccine for nCoV.
*The author of the article is currently working as Research Analyst in GlobalData and has done his Masters in Pharmacy.
informative health article….
Hello Mr. Rizwan can i know the symptoms of this diseased virus so that we can prepared from being attacked by this type of virus through out….
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