Qatari with SARS-like virus on artificial lung: UK hospital

September 25, 2012

A Qatari man suffering from a mystery respiratory virus from the same family as the deadly disease SARS is on an artificial lung to keep him alive, a British hospital said Tuesday.

The 49-year-old was admitted to an in Doha on September 7 suffering from acute respiratory infection and kidney failure before being transferred to London by air ambulance on September 11.

He is now in a critical condition at Guy's and St Thomas' hospital in London.

"The patient, who has been isolated, is receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (Ecmo) treatment, which delivers oxygen to the blood outside the body when the lungs are not able to," the hospital said in a statement.

The hospital said it was following strict procedures to ensure patients and staff are not infected by the mystery virus

"There is no evidence that the virus has been transmitted to any other patient or member of staff. However, staff involved in caring for this patient are being followed up by occupational health as a precaution," it said.

A Saudi Arabian national died earlier this year from a virtually identical virus, the has said.

The WHO confirmed in a global alert on Monday that the was in the coronavirus family which causes the common cold but can also include more severe illnesses including SARS, or .

SARS swept out of China in 2003, killing more than 800 people worldwide.

Britain's also said the virus was from the same family as SARS but said it was different to any previously identified in humans, adding that it caused "acute respiratory illness".

WHO spokesman Gregory Haertl stressed that the new virus was not SARS itself, pointing out that what sets the new virus apart was that it caused rapid .

He said though that very little was known about the new virus so far, pointing out that there were only two confirmed cases, which popped up three months apart and with no connection besides the fact that both men had links to Saudi Arabia.

"We don't know yet how it transmits... if it's human to human or animal to human," he said, pointing out that the virus might also provoke milder, and therefore undetected illness.

"We are very much in an investigative period," he said.

Saudi health authorities on Tuesday also downplayed the impact of a possible outbreak of the virus, saying that cases in the kingdom remain rare.

"There have been two cases of flu over a period of time. This is normal," said health ministry spokesman Khaled al-Mirghalani.

Explore further: Qatari with mystery virus still in critical condition: WHO

Related Stories

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.

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.

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.

Double attack on SARS

August 28, 2012
After the SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) outbreak in 2003, academia experts in immunology and molecular biology joined forces with industrial vaccine production experts in order to develop preventive ...

Recommended for you

Scientists develop infection model for tickborne flaviviruses

August 22, 2017
National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have filled a research gap by developing a laboratory model to study ticks that transmit flaviviruses, such as Powassan virus. Powassan virus was implicated in the death of a ...

Zika virus stifles pregnant women's weakened immune system to harm baby, study finds

August 21, 2017
The Zika virus, linked to congenital birth defects and miscarriages, suppresses a pregnant woman's immune system, enabling the virus to spread and increasing the chances an unborn baby will be harmed, a Keck School of Medicine ...

Fatty liver can cause damage to other organs via crosstalk

August 21, 2017
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is increasingly common. Approximately every third adult in industrialized countries has a morbidly fatty liver. This not only increases the risk of chronic liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis ...

Novel approach to track HIV infection

August 18, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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.