New mystery virus not easily transmitted: WHO

September 28, 2012

A new mysterious respiratory virus that has killed at least one person and left another in critical condition does not appear very contagious, the World Health Organisation said Friday.

"From the information available thus far, it appears that the novel coronavirus cannot be easily transmitted from person to person," the WHO said in a statement.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told reporters in Geneva that rapid progress was being made in characterising the disease and developing diagnostic tests, which would be made available as quickly as possible.

The origin of the new virus was still unknown, he said.

The UN health agency has previously confirmed that the new illness was in the coronavirus family, which also includes the deadly as well as the common cold.

The new virus however is different from SARS, especially in that it causes rapid .

The new virus has caused the death of a Saudi national and has also left a Qatari man seriously ill in a London hospital after he was transferred there from Doha earlier this month, the WHO previously reported, adding that he had also been in Saudi Arabia.

The two known cases surfaced three months apart and there was no clear connection between the two men.

"Given the severity of the two laboratory confirmed cases, WHO is continuing to monitor the situation in order to provide the appropriate response, expertise and support to its member states," Friday's statement said.

WHO said that tests for the were currently available at some of its partner laboratories for patients under investigation.

With pilgrims already arriving in Saudi Arabia for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage, the WHO reiterated Friday that it was not yet recommending travel or trade restrictions for the Saudi kingdom or Qatar.

"WHO is working closely with the national authorities of the involved countries (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom) and international partners in order to better understand the from the novel coronavirus," the agency said.

Explore further: WHO advising Saudis on virus ahead of Hajj

Related Stories

WHO advising Saudis on virus ahead of Hajj

September 26, 2012
The UN health agency said Wednesday it knew of no more cases in the Gulf of a mystery illness from the same virus family as the deadly SARS but was advising Saudi Arabia ahead of the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage.

Saudi downplays impact of mystery virus on Hajj

September 25, 2012
Saudi health authorities downplayed Tuesday the impact of a possible outbreak of a virus from the family of deadly SARS on its forthcoming Hajj pilgrimage, stressing that the cases remain rare.

Qatari with mystery virus still in critical condition: WHO

September 25, 2012
A Qatari man suffering from a new respiratory virus from the same family as the deadly SARS remains in critical condition, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday.

WHO urges docs to watch for new SARS-like virus

September 27, 2012
(AP)—Global health officials have alerted doctors to be on the lookout for a virus related to SARS but said there were no signs the disease was behaving like the respiratory syndrome that killed hundreds in 2003.

New SARS-like virus detected in Middle East (Update 3)

September 24, 2012
Global health officials are closely monitoring a new respiratory virus related to SARS that is believed to have killed at least one person in Saudi Arabia and left a Qatari citizen in critical condition in London.

Patients in Denmark not suffering from new virus: hospital

September 26, 2012
Five people in isolation in a Danish hospital are suffering from a typical influenza strain and not a new SARS-like respiratory illness as feared, the Odense University Hospital said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.