New death from SARS-like virus in Saudi, WHO reports

Another person suffering from a SARS-like virus has died in Saudi Arabia, the World Health Organization said Thursday, bringing the worldwide number of fatalities from the mystery illness to seven.

The Saudi health ministry had informed the UN's health body that the patient had been hospitalised on January 29 and had died on February 10, WHO said in a statement.

A laboratory had confirmed on February 18 that the person had died from the so-called novel , or NCoV, it added.

This brings to 13 the number of cases of the virus that have so far been reported to the WHO since it was first detected in the middle of last year, with six previous fatalities—three in Saudi Arabia, two in Jordan and one in Britain.

The news comes just days after a person suffering from the virus died in hospital in central England on Sunday.

That patient, who had a pre-existing health condition, was one of three people in the same family with the virus, which appeared to have been caught by one of the family members during a recent visit to the Middle East and Pakistan.

Even before the death in Britain, the WHO had on Saturday urged its member states to keep a close eye on any cases of severe , like pneumonia, and to "carefully review any unusual patterns."

should test for NCoV in cases of unexplained pneumonia or other severe, "progressive or complicated not responding to treatment, particularly in persons travelling from or resident in areas of the world known to be affected," it said.

It also urged testing of any health workers showing such symptoms, and thorough investigations of clusters of cases, regardless of where they occur in the world.

WHO meanwhile did not recommend any travel or trade restriction in connection with the virus.

Coronaviruses cause most common colds but can also cause SARS ().

The however is different from SARS, especially in that it causes rapid kidney failure.

A SARS epidemic killed more than 800 people when it swept out of China in 2003, sparking a major international health scare.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

WHO urges vigilance over SARS-like virus

Feb 17, 2013

The World Health Organisation on Saturday urged countries to be vigilant over the spread of a potentially fatal SARS-like virus after a new case in Britain brought the global number to 12.

Saudi Arabia confirms 2nd case of SARS-like virus

Nov 05, 2012

(AP)—Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry has confirmed that a second person in the kingdom has contracted a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to three the number of those sickened by it in the Gulf region in recent ...

Fourth case of SARS-like virus hits Britain

Feb 15, 2013

A third member of a family has been diagnosed in Britain with a potentially fatal SARS-like virus, officials said Friday, bringing the number of confirmed cases worldwide to 12.

Jordan says SARS-like virus deaths isolated cases

Dec 02, 2012

Jordan's health minister has said that two deaths in the kingdom from a SARS-like virus earlier this year which were confirmed by the World Health Organisation last week were isolated cases.

Recommended for you

New York confirms first Ebola case

18 minutes ago

A doctor who recently returned to New York from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive on Thursday for the deadly virus, the first confirmed case in the city, officials said.

User comments