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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that includes viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold to SARS. Viruses of this family also cause a number of animal diseases. Novel coronavirus This particular strain of coronavirus has not been previously identified in humans. There is very limited information on transmission, severity and clinical impact with only a small number of cases reported thus far.
From September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a global total of 34 laboratory confirmed cases of human infection with nCoV, including 18 deaths. Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns. Health care providers are advised to be vigilant among recent travelers returning from areas affected by the virus who develop severe SARI. Specimens from patients’ lower respiratory tracts should be obtained for diagnosis where possible. Clinicians are reminded that nCoV infection should be considered even with atypical signs and symptoms in patients who are significantly immune compromised.
The UK has had four cases, two of whom died.
A statement from the WHO added: "Of most concern, however, is the fact that the different clusters seen in multiple countries increasingly support the hypothesis that when there is close contact this novel coronavirus can transmit from person-to-person."
(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has confirmed four new cases of the SARS-like novel coronavirus in its Eastern Province, state media reported late on Monday, citing the health ministry.
14 MAY 2013 - The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has informed WHO of an additional four laboratory-confirmed cases with infection of the novel coronavirus (NCoV).
15 MAY 2013 - The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has informed WHO of an additional two laboratory-confirmed cases with infection of the novel coronavirus (nCoV). The two patients are health care workers who were exposed to patients with confirmed nCoV. The first patient is a 45-year-old man who became ill on 2 May 2013 and is currently in a critical condition. The second patient is a 43-year-old woman with a coexisting health condition, who became ill on 8 May 2013 and is in a stable condition.