September 24, 2012
The Centre for Health Protection has formed an
enhanced surveillance mechanism with public and private hospitals to
watch for cases of novel coronavirus infection.
The move follows
the World Health Organisation's report on September 23 of a case of
novel coronavirus infection. The case involved a previously healthy
49-year-old Qatari man who had been in Saudi Arabia prior to the onset
of illness on September 3. He is being treated for severe respiratory
illness in London.
The UK's Health Protection Agency has
confirmed the presence of a novel coronavirus. It said the virus isolate
from the patient is highly similar to the coronavirus identified from a
fatal case in a 60-year-old Saudi man reported on September 20.
are a large family of viruses, which include those that cause the
common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The WHO is gathering
more information to determine the public health implications of these
two confirmed cases.
In Hong Kong, the centre reported that the
Public Health Laboratory Centre has the capacity to detect this virus.
No human infection with this virus has been identified here so far.
centre will closely monitor the progress of further epidemiological
investigations and surveillance, and the corresponding advice from the