New Sars-like virus detected in Middle East
British health authorities have alerted the UN of a new respiratory virus in a severely ill patient from Qatar.
The man was sickened by a coronavirus, which causes most common colds but also causes Sars, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. In 2003, Sars killed hundreds of people, mostly in Asia, in a short-lived outbreak.
Britain’s Health Protection Agency said in a statement late on Sunday that the 49-year-old patient had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia.
The UN health agency says virus samples from the patient were almost identical to those of a 60-year-old Saudi national who died earlier this year.