In wake of the recent news of the 11th death from this new coronavirus, I was absolutely horrified to read that the UK’s “Health Protection Agency” had gone above and beyond to not provide that protection to their UK citizens. Several months ago, bird flu research was halted (but restarted later) because scientists were concerned that publishing the bird flu genome online could provide terrorists with, essentially, a recipe on how to cook it.
I guess the real health protection advocates were at home the day the coronavirus genome was published for all the world to see several months ago.
LONDON: A dangerous virus, belonging to the same family as the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) is inching towards India. United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) has now confirmed a fresh case of the novel coronavirus infection in a British resident who had recently travelled to Pakistan and the Middle East.
Professor Maria Zambon from HPA added, “A battery of laboratory tests have been developed by the HPA to test for coronavirus infection. In mid-November the HPA published the full genome sequence from the first UK patient, enabling scientists around the world to understand more about the diversity of this virus. This will help with efforts to determine the origin of the virus and develop strategies for treatment and prevention .” Coronaviruses are causes of the common cold but can also include more severe illness, such as SARS.
By Kimberly Paxton
February 14, 2013
BREAKING: During the last couple of hours, a third patient in the UK has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
The patient, a male from Qatar had, according to sources, spent time with the second patient, who is hospitalized in Manchester.
The staff of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham have refused to comment, with the exception of saying they are treating one patient for the novel virus.
Our source states that several more people are suspected to have the virus, and ” a number of people in both cities are under observation”
The new virus, from the family that is responsible for the common cold, is similar to SARS, Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed 800 and sickened thousands in 2002.
At this point the Health Protection Agency has not stated where the virus originated, if the virus is a mutation of the SARS virus, or if it is distinct from it and therefore, truly novel.
What is known is this is a zoonotic disease, one that makes the jump from animals to humans.
In this instance it is said by the HPA that the most likely vector is bats, but it is it currently unknown whether there is an intermediate host between the bats and humans.
Contributed by Kimberly Paxton of www.TheDailySheeple.com.
Kimberly Paxton, a staff writer for the Daily Sheeple, is based out of upstate New York.
The new virus was first identified last year in the Middle East, and the 10 people who have previously been infected had all traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan.
According to Britain’s Health Protection Agency, the latest patient is a U.K. resident who had not traveled recently to any of those countries but had close personal contact with an earlier case.
The patient may also have been at greater risk of infection due to an underlying medical condition and is currently in intensive care at a hospital in Birmingham, central England.
He said there are still big gaps in the understanding of the new coronavirus, which can cause acute pneumonia and kidney failure.
Of the 11 cases to date, five people have died.
Health experts still aren’t sure how humans are being infected. Coronavirus is most closely related to a bat virus, and scientists are considering whether bats or other animals, such as goats or camels, are a possible source of infection.
Michael Osterholm, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Minnesota, warned the virus could be adapting into a more transmissible form. He noted that before SARS sparked a worldwide epidemic, there were a handful of human-to-human cases until something happened, for instance a virus mutation, that triggered an explosion of cases.
“At any moment, the fire hydrant of human-to-human transmission cases could open,” he said. “This is definitely a ‘stay tuned’ moment.”
According to the WHO, the virus is probably more widespread than just the Middle East and has advised countries to test any people with unexplained pneumonia.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – The World Health Organization says the outbreak increases the need for countries to watch for unusual patterns of respiratory disease. Authorities say that the latest person infected with the disease hasn’t traveled recently and is related to a person whose infection was announced earlier this week.
The source of the pathogen, a coronavirus that emerged as recently as April, hasn’t yet been discovered. Cases in humans provide opportunities for the virus to mutate and become more easily transmissible among others, potentially setting off a pandemic like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS that sickened more than 8,000 people, and killed 774 people between 2002 and 2003….
Cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, in areas around Jeddah and Riyadh, and in Jordan and Qatar. Genetic evidence indicates the virus is most closely related to a coronavirus found in bats.
That link suggests that bats would be “the most likely wildlife reservoir,” John Mackenzie, a Melbourne-based virologist says. “Challenges exist about gaining the wildlife samples to explore which might be carrying the virus,” he said.
“It’s important to know the source so at least you have some indication of what the risks are and to what extent that risk exists,” Mackenzie says, who is also an honorary professor of microbiology at the University of Queensland. “The evidence now suggests that the chances of an outbreak like SARS are unlikely – – it doesn’t seem to transmit that readily.”..
“The fact there are still new cases occurring is a concern because pathogens can change and emerge genetically to become more transmissible over time,” Raina MacIntyre, professor of infectious diseases epidemiology at the University of New South Wales says. “If human-to-human transmission is occurring, another possible explanation could be that there are many more undetected cases.”
By Chris Carrington
February 13, 2013
Following the news a couple of days ago that there has been a second fatality from a coronavirus similar to the one that causes SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) UK scientists believe they have evidence that the condition can be passed from human to human.
In a statement issued this morning Professor John Watson Head of the respiratory diseases department at the Health Protection Agency said:
“Confirmed novel coronavirus infection in a person without travel history to the Middle East suggests that person to person transmission has occurred in the UK.
Although this case provides strong evidence for person to person transmission, the risk of infection is still considered to be very low”
There have been 11 confirmed cases of the infection around the world. It causes pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure – five patients have died.
This is the third case identified in the UK. The first was a patient flown in from Qatar for treatment. The second was linked to travel to the Middle East and Pakistan.
Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!
By Kate Kelland
LONDON | Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:39pm EST
(Reuters) – A third patient in Britain has contracted a new SARS-like virus, becoming the second confirmed British case in a week and showing the deadly infection is being spread from person to person, health officials said on Wednesday.
The latest case, in a man from the same family as another patient, brings the worldwide number of confirmed infections with the new virus – known as novel coronavirus, or NCoV – to 11.
NCoV was identified when the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued an international alert in September 2012 saying a virus previously unknown in humans had infected a Qatari man who had recently been in Saudi Arabia.
The virus belongs to the same family as SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – a coronavirus that emerged in China in 2002 and killed about a tenth of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide. Symptoms common to both viruses include severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties…
“Confirmed novel coronavirus infection in a person without travel history to the Middle East suggests that person-to-person transmission has occurred, and that it occurred in the UK,” said John Watson, the HPA’s head of respiratory diseases…
Coronaviruses encompass a family of germs that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, which was far more transmissible than the new virus currently appears, according to the WHO.
The Geneva-based United Nations agency recommends clusters of severe acute respiratory infections, especially in health- care workers, be thoroughly investigated, regardless of where in the world they occur, it said yesterday.
“This new development does justify the measures that were immediately put into place to prevent any further spread of infection and to identify and follow up contacts of known cases,” said John Watson, head of the U.K.’s Health Protection Agency’s respiratory diseases department, in a statement yesterday.
“To date, evidence of person-to-person transmission has been limited,” Watson said. “Although this case provides strong evidence for person to person transmission, the risk of infection in most circumstances is still considered to be very low.”
The emergence of the new pathogen shows why outbreak surveillance, notification and response systems can’t be “disease-specific,” said William Aldis, an assistant professor of global health at Bangkok’s Thammasat University and a former WHO representative to Thailand.
“Otherwise we will forever be looking for the last infectious agent or vector, not the next one,” Aldis said in an email. “We need to support outbreak surveillance and response systems coherently, not disease-by-disease.”
“This type of thing is just a part of the way that modern world is going to work, that is something we are just going to have to accept. The world is a much smaller place now, I mean not literally of course, figuratively, and that means that disease will spread a lot more easily, and that diseases will mix with other diseases creating super diseases which in turn will cause even more damage to the human race,” said Scrape TV Health analyst Rebecca Phelps. “That’s not a good thing but there really isn’t any point in arguing about it, of fretting over it because it is happening and there is nothing we can do but try to help ourselves, and pray, we should do a lot of praying. Forgiving others may help as well, at least with our eternal souls.”
WHO does not seem particularly concerned about the new disease because it isn’t very good at passing from person to person, yet.
“Hopefully this type of event will help people to realize that the world is a dangerous place and that we need to take precautions, all kinds of precautions, even ones that seem irrational at first blush. That is essential not only for our own personal survival but also the survival of the species as a whole. We’re talking about all of humanity here,” continued Phelps. “That may seem a bit of an overstatement but it really shouldn’t. This isn’t the Republicans versus the Democrats, we are down to the line her folks. People need to pay attention unless they want all of us to die a horrible and painful demise.”
February 12, 2013 – UNITED KINGDOM – A second case of a new respiratory illness, similar to the deadly Sars virus, has been identified in the UK. The patient, who is receiving intensive care treatment in a Manchester hospital, had recently travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan. Doctors insist the risk of the new coronavirus spreading to the general UK population is “extremely low” and the situation is being closely monitored. The total number of confirmed cases globally now stands at 10. The death toll is five – three patients treated in Saudi Arabia and two treated in Jordan. So the mortality rate is 50%. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold to the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus, spread through droplets of body fluids produced by sneezing and coughing. In 2002 an outbreak of Sars killed about 800 people after the virus spread to more than 30 countries around the world. The new coronavirus was first identified in September 2012 in a patient in Saudi Arabia who has since died. Soon after, officials identified another case – this time in the UK. The 49-year-old man in question had been transferred to St Thomas’ hospital in London by air ambulance from Qatar. Five months on, a second UK case has been found. Prof John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the Health Protection Agency (HPA), said: “The HPA is providing advice to healthcare workers to ensure the patient under investigation is being treated appropriately and that healthcare staff who are looking after the patient are protected. Contacts of the case are also being followed up to check on their health.” No travel restrictions are in place. But Prof Watson said people who developed severe respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, within 10 days of returning from the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding regions should seek medical advice and mention the countries they have visited.
Feb. 7, 2013 — A team of researchers have developed a method to identify the cause of infectious disease outbreaks based on online reports about the symptoms, the season, and the ratio of cases to fatalities. Using data from the Internet outbreak reporting system ProMED-mail, the researchers applied this method to more than 100 outbreaks of encephalitis in South Asia, recently identified as an emerging infectious disease “hotspot,” to determine which of 10 infectious diseases was causing symptoms of encephalitis, and whether Nipah — a serious emerging infection — could be reliably differentiated from the others.
The findings showed that three quarters of the disease outbreaks formed distinct clusters, and that previously unknown disease outbreaks could be correctly identified 88% of the time.
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