SARS-like virus shows dangerous spread

May 15, 2013 3:40:21 PM PDT
Saudi health officials have notified the World Health Organization of 2 more confirmed cases of the SARS-like virus that kills more than half of its victims.

The two latest cases are health care workers who were exposed to patients with the novel Coronavirus (noCoV). One is a 45-year-old man who is in critical condition; the other is a 43-year-old woman with a coexisting health condition. She is in stable condition.

This is the first time health case workers have been diagnosed with noCoV infections after exposure to patients.

Since the beginning of May, there have been 21 patients, including 9 deaths from the outbreak in Saudi Arabia. It has been primarily linked to a healthcare facility in an eastern province.

Globally, there are 40 lab-confirmed cases of humans infected with nCoV, including 20 deaths from 6 countries France, Germany, Jordan, Qatar, Saudia Arabia, and United Kingdom). Two cases were reported in France over the weekend.

The WHO has requested all countries to be on alert for the virus, which can start like a cold, but can quickly progress to a fatal respiratory ailment.