Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which are known to cause illness in humans and animals. As of 28 September 2012, scientists confirmed two cases of a never-seen-before strain of the virus, a 60-year-old Saudi Arabian man who died in June 2012, and a Qatari man, 49, with travel history to Saudi Arabia. Their symptoms included acute, serious respiratory illness presented with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. The novel coronavirus is genetically quite distinct from SARS. There has been no evidence to date that the novel coronavirus has been transmitted from person to person.
Saudi death toll from new Sars-related virus reaches 18
Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry says a woman has died from a new respiratory virus related to Sars, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 18.
Saudi Arabia remains the centre for the virus as investigators from the World Health Organisation seek more clues about its origins and how it is spread.
Last week, WHO officials said at least 22 people have died from the virus worldwide out of 44 cases.
The Saudi Health Ministry announced the virus’ latest victim in a statement on Sunday. The ministry says a foreigner also died of the virus in Saudi Arabia last Tuesday after having pneumonia-like symptoms. No other details were released.
The virus has been compared to Sars, a respiratory infection that surfaced in China in late 2002.