Sars-like illness 'world threat'

03 June 2013 09:32

The new Sars like respiratory illness is a threat to the world, warned the World Health Organisation

The new Sars like respiratory illness is a threat to the world, warned the World Health Organisation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described the new Sars-like respiratory illness as a threat to the world. The illness "is emerging faster than our understanding", according to experts, with 49 laboratory confirmed cases reported by the WHO since last September across eight countries.

The warning come as a stark reminder to travellers to make certain they have taken out medical travel insurance before going abroad.

The greatest concern of WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan was the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.

The novel coronavirus was "a threat to the entire world", she told the World Heath Assembly in Geneva. Most patients infected travelled to the Middle East but health officials this month confirmed the virus can be transmitted between people.

UK health workers were advised to watch out for severe unexplained respiratory illness in anyone who travelled in the Middle East recently, and unexplained clusters of the illness. The signs of infection are fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing problems.

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