It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

SARS Virus is Mutating, Fear Doctors

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 16 2003 @ 08:51 PM
link   
www.newscientist.com...



SARS Virus is Mutating, Fear Doctors


15:55 16 April 03

NewScientist.com news service

A cluster of SARS patients in Hong Kong with unusual symptoms has prompted concern that the virus causing the disease is mutating. Doctors fear the changes are making the disease more severe.

Scientists in Hong Kong are now urgently sequencing key genes from recently isolated coronaviruses to reveal any changes. New Scientist has learned that the changes in symptoms mirror those already seen when animal coronaviruses have mutated.

Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung, at the University of Hong Kong, said on Wednesday that the 300 patients from a SARS hot spot, the Amoy Gardens apartment complex, were more seriously ill than patients who acquired the infection elsewhere.

The Amoy Gardens patients are three times as likely to suffer early diarrhoea, twice as likely to need intensive care and less likely to respond to a cocktail of anti-viral drugs and steroids. Even medical staff who caught the infection from Amoy Gardens patients are more seriously ill, Yuen said.

Gut and lung

The comparison of the symptoms is continuing, says John Tam, a microbiologist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. "But at the same time we are studying the genetic sequences of the viruses involved in both outbreaks. The presence of a mutation leading to an altered tissue preference of the virus cannot be discounted at the moment," he told New Scientist.

The much higher rate of diarrhoea in Amoy Garden cases supports the idea of an altered tissue preference, meaning a viral strain that can attack the gut as well as the lungs.




posted on Apr, 16 2003 @ 09:41 PM
link   
Was seriously afraid of this...



posted on Apr, 16 2003 @ 10:17 PM
link   
yikes. SARS just keeps getting worse, it seems. I wonder what the death rate will be on this new strain...it's a morbid facination, but my newest "hobby" of sorts is comparing SARS to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. I've so far read that death rates of those infected with SARS are around 4%, while the death rates for the 1918 flu are around 2.5%. of course, the 1918 flu infected many more people than SARS has so far, but if SARS gets out into the public at large, it will be very ugly.



posted on Apr, 16 2003 @ 11:22 PM
link   
Someone fairly high up the totem-pole at UC Berkeley was on the World Service this morning (GMT 00.15) suggesting that the feared mutations were almost certain to occur, or to be detected soon after having already occurred. It gets worse.
This person was also honest enough to admit that, while recent breakthroughs in description and identification will help diagnosis and isolation and even, perhaps, treatment of symptoms, there is no basis for suggesting that it will do much to make a cure available. I guess we only have to look at the history of "cures" for the common cold, to find that a reasonable suggestion.

[Edited on 17-4-2003 by Estragon]



new topics

top topics
 
0

log in

join