Briton is 10th case of Sars-like virus

2013-02-11 21:40
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London - A British resident has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal Sars-like virus, British health authorities said on Monday, in the 10th confirmed case worldwide.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the person, who recently travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan, was being treated at an intensive care unit at a hospital in Manchester, northwest England, after contracting novel coronavirus.

"The HPA is providing advice to healthcare workers to ensure the patient under investigation is being treated appropriately," said John Watson, head of the agency's respiratory diseases department.

"Contacts of the case are also being followed up to check on their health."

He added: "Our assessment is that the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains extremely low and the risk to travellers to the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries remains very low."

Travellers who develop severe breathing difficulties within 10 days of returning from the region should seek medical advice, said Watson.

This is the second case to hit Britain after a 49-year-old Qatari man was treated at a London hospital in September for the virus.

The HPA said five patients had died worldwide as a result of the disease.

Five cases have been confirmed in Saudi Arabia resulting in three deaths, while two patients treated in Jordan have died, the agency said.

A patient from Qatar was treated for the virus in Germany and given the all-clear.

Coronaviruses cause most common colds but can also cause Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

The Sars epidemic killed more than 800 people when it swept out of China in 2003, sparking a major international health scare.

- SAPA

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