24 September 2012 Last updated at 06:59 ET
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
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