Tags: sars | like | virus | threat

SARS-Like Virus 'Threat to Entire World,' Says UN Health Organization

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 09:56 AM

By Alexandra Ward

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The SARS-like virus that has claimed 23 lives in the last few months is "a threat to the entire world," according to the United Nations' World Health Organization.

The virus is part of a family coronaviruses, which can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS (Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome). However, the new disease is not SARS.

The virus has infected 49 people worldwide as of Wednesday, most of them in the Middle East, leading the WHO to name the sickness the Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus (MERS-CoV). About half of those infected have died.

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals?

MERS-CoV reportedly acts like a cold virus and attacks the respiratory system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.

Almost all of those infected had direct or indirect connection to the Middle East, the WHO reported.

"We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat," WHO director-general Margaret Chan said Monday at the 66th World Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. "We do not know where the virus hides in nature. We do not know how people are getting infected. Until we answer these questions, we are empty-handed when it comes to prevention. These are alarm bells. And we must respond."

Cases have been identified in eight countries including France and Saudi Arabia, according to the WHO. Other European countries include Germany and the United Kingdom.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll

No cases have been reported yet in the United States, but infectious disease experts have said it would not be surprising.

"It could happen," Dr. Susan Gerber, a medical epidemiologist in the CDC's Division of Viral Diseases, told CNN. "That's why the CDC is working closely with the World Health Organization and other international partners."

Related stories:

Deadly SARS-like Virus Hits 12 People Worldwide

New Mysterious UK Virus Spreads; 10th Case Worldwide of Bug Similar to SARS

New Bird Flu Spreads Beyond Mainland China

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved