Sars-like virus affects another

27 September 2012 09:23

A patient from the Middle East is being treated in hospital in London with a new respiratory virus, the HPA has said

A patient from the Middle East is being treated in hospital in London with a new respiratory virus, the HPA has said

A patient from the Middle East is being treated in hospital in the UK with a new respiratory virus, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has said. According to the agency, the 49-year-old, who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia, was being treated in a hospital in London.

The HPA confirmed that the UK case of the illness, which is associated with the new type of coronavirus, is the second confirmed instance of the disease. Three months ago a patient in Saudi Arabia died from the acute respiratory illness. The HPA said coronaviruses are causes of the common cold, though in some cases can include more severe illnesses such as Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Sydrome) - something that may prompt people to think about taking out comprehensive medical travel insurance before they set off.

Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA, said: "In the light of the severity of the illness that has been identified in the two confirmed cases, immediate steps have been taken to ensure that people who have been in contact with the UK case have not been infected, and there is no evidence to suggest that they have. Further information about these cases is being developed for healthcare workers in the UK, as well as advice to help maintain increased vigilance for this virus. This information is also being shared with national and international authorities including the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Control."

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