Tags: deadly | virus | mideast | cdc

Deadly New Virus From Mideast Sweeping Globe, CDC Warns

Friday, 08 Mar 2013 02:23 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday warned about a deadly never-before-seen new virus sweeping the globe from the Middle East. The SARS-like infection has reportedly sickened 14 and killed eight.

Health officials say the deadly new virus is a coronavirus, part of the same family as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the bird flu that emerged in Asia and killed 800 people worldwide in 2003. Symptoms of infection with this new virus include severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Most of the infections were reported from the Middle East and three confirmed cases in Britain suggest the virus is transferred through person-to-person contact. To date, no cases have been reported in the United States.

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The British outbreak seems to stem from a 60-year-old man who recently traveled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and contracted the sickness Jan. 24, according to the CDC's analysis. The man reportedly passed the infection to two members of his family.

The deadly new virus caution comes on the heels of a CDC warning about a "nightmare bacteria" that's sweeping through U.S. hospitals. The bacteria kills up to half the patients it infects, public health officials said Tuesday, as they urging hospitals and health care facilities to take necessary precautions to protect against the spread of the disease.

The germ, Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, infected patients in 4 percent of U.S. hospitals in the first half of 2012, and in 18 percent of specialty hospitals, according to the CDC. What's more, over the last decade, the forms of CRE resistant to antibiotics have grown 400 percent.

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The CDC said doctors should be watchful of patients who develop an unexplained respiratory infection within 10 days of traveling from the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries.

Related stories:

Deadly SARS-Like Virus Hits 12 People Worldwide

Mysterious Deadly Virus Stumps Global Health Experts

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