Monday, September 24, 2012

BBC: How threatening is the new coronavirus?


As it has only been recently described, and this is only the second laboratory confirmed case, there is limited information on how much of a threat it may pose to humans.

At this point it is not clear whether these cases are typical of infection with this virus or whether it could be circulating more widely and only very rarely causing a severe illness.

Doctors do not yet know what the best treatment is, but people with severe symptoms will need intensive medical care to help them breath. There is no vaccine for it.
As with any newly identified virus that may be associated with severe illness, it is better to err on the side of caution. All infection control precautions to prevent the spread of this virus are therefore being taken in the case of the London patient with the confirmed diagnosis. This includes isolation of the patient, barrier nursing and making sure that all staff wear the appropriate protective equipment.

Experts do not yet know where the virus originated from. It may have been the result of a new mutation of an existing virus. Or it may be an infection that has been circulating in animals and has now made the jump to humans.

No comments: