Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fourth case in UK coronavirus family cluster?

By Helen Branswell
...officials investigating how the virus moved from one member of the family to the next suspect another relative may have contracted the virus and may even have spread it to the third confirmed case in the cluster. This fourth family member had a respiratory illness but was not tested until after she recovered, at which point the test came back negative.
The third confirmed case in this cluster had only mild symptoms and has since recovered. "The fact that she had such a mild illness really does raise our concerns about what we might be missing," Mounts admits.
Others share the WHO's concern. In fact, several of the researchers who were key players in the response to the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic admit the patterns they are seeing bring back memories.
"It is certainly beginning to look concerning, given the obvious fact that there can be onward transmission," says Malik Peiris, chair of the department of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong.
"It is somewhat reminiscent of the emergence of SARS in 2002."
Ron Fouchier, a virologist at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, also sees those similarities.

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