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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Deadly New Virus - 50% Human Death Rate



(Reuters) - The emergence of a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has already killed half those known to be infected requires speedy scientific detective work to figure out its potential.
     The World Health Organization says at least a dozen people have become sick with a new virus it calls NCOV or Novel Coronavirus.
     This potentially fatal SARS-like virus was first identified in September of last year.
     Symptoms of infection with the virus include an acute respiratory infection, fever and a cough.
     So far, it has only showed up abroad, but experts say they wouldn't be surprised if it appeared in the U-S.

....
Experts in virology and infectious diseases say that while they already have unprecedented detail about the genetics and capabilities of the novel coronavirus, or NCoV, what worries them more is what they don't know.
The virus, which belongs to the same family as viruses that cause the common cold and the one that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), emerged in the Middle East last year and has so far killed seven of the 13 people it is known to have infected worldwide.
Of those, six have been in Saudi Arabia, two in Jordan, and others in Britain and Germany linked to travel in the Middle East or to family clusters.
"What we know really concerns me, but what we don't know really scares me," said Michael Osterholm, director of the U.S.-based Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy and a professor at the University of Minnesota.
....
"ONE BIG VIROLOGICAL BLENDER"
Initial scientific analysis by laboratory scientists at Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) - which helped identify the virus in a Qatari patient in September last year - found that NCoV's closest relatives are most probably bat viruses.
It is not unusual for viruses to jump from animals to humans and mutate in the process - high profile examples include the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS and the H1N1 swine flu which caused a pandemic in 2009 and 2010.
...Yet there are many unanswered questions.
SPOTLIGHT ON SAUDI ARABIA, JORDAN
"At the moment we just don't know whether the virus might actually be quite widespread and it's just a tiny proportion of people who get really sick, or whether it's a brand new virus carrying a much greater virulence potential," said Wendy Barclay, a flu virologist, also at Imperial College London.
To have any success in answering those questions, scientists and health officials in affected countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan need to conduct swift and robust epidemiological studies to find out whether the virus is circulating more widely in people but causing milder symptoms.
This would help establish whether the 13 cases seen so far are the most severe and represent "the tip the iceberg", said Volker Thiel of the Institute of Immunobiology at Kantonal Hospital in Switzerland, who published research this month showing NCoV grows efficiently in human cells.


In a detailed case study of a patient from Qatar who was infected with NCoV and treated in Germany, researchers said the man reported owning a camel and a goat farm on which several goats had been ill with fevers before he himself got sick.
...
In a detailed case study of a patient from Qatar who was infected with NCoV and treated in Germany, researchers said the man reported owning a camel and a goat farm on which several goats had been ill with fevers before he himself got sick.
...

Yet recent evidence from a cluster of cases in a family in Britain strongly suggests NCoV can be passed from one person to another and may not always come from an animal source.
An infection in a British man who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, reported on February 11, was swiftly followed by two more British cases in the same family in people who had no recent travel history in the Middle East.
...

"There's nothing in the virology that tells us this thing is going to stop being transmitted," said Osterholm. "Today the world is one big virological blender. And if it's sustaining itself (in humans) in the Middle East then it will show up around the rest of the world. It's just a matter of time."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/27/us-coronavirus-idUSBRE91Q0MD20130227

Out of the mouth of babes....



Not to worry, he says, but he also poses a thought that this is BIO-ENGINEERED.  

My thought is, if this is indeed bio-engineered from a source in the Middle East, would they not have a vaccine or an antidote?  Or would this just be along the lines of their glorious martydom? 

We are living in interesting times!


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