Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

WHO warns of threat from new coronavirus

  • 1 Comment

World Health Organization has warned that the emergence of a new coronavirus represents a “major challenge” for the world as well as the countries currently affected.

Cases of the coronavirus, which is from the same family as the SARs virus and the common cold, have been seen in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region since 2012.

In a statement the WHO said: “This is a new infection and there are also many gaps in our knowledge that will inevitably take time to fill in. We know that when people get infected, many of them develop severe pneumonia. What we don’t know is how often people might develop mild disease.

“There are many other things that we don’t understand. For example, how are people getting infected? Is it from animals? Is it from contaminated surfaces? Is it from other people? Finally, we don’t know how widespread is this virus, both in this region and in other countries,” the statement added.

But the WHO said the “greatest global concern” was the potential for the new virus to spread, especially as evidence increasingly supported the hypothesis that it could spread from person-to-person, as opposed to contact with animals.

The virus has already caused severe disease in multiple countries, although in small numbers, and has persisted in the Middle East region since 2012.

“Several urgent actions are needed,” the WHO statement said. “The most important ones are the need for countries, both inside and outside of the region, to increase their levels of awareness among all people but especially among staff working in their health systems and to increase their levels of surveillance about this new infection.”

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Its easy to become blasé with yet more prophecies of doom with regard to unknown and untreatable virus'.
    But all symptoms are very similar, we have little in the way of drugs available to treat, and yet again we will be inundated by people with even a little sniffle who "just want to get checked out" despite the fact that they
    A) most likely do not have the virus;
    b) going to the nearest OOH/WIC/GP surgery and queuing they are more likely to catch it or something similar from other patients; and
    C) spread it to us. During the swine flu out break I and many of my colleagues all succumbed to viral symptoms (only some of whom actually had swine flu) due to the stupidity of people spluttering all over us and thinking that we were magically immune. And then they moan that they have to wait due to lack of staff.
    Hopefully this time the NHS will deal with this properly with appropriate information so that we are not inundated by the worried well. We estimated that approx. 1 in 10 who were given Tamiflu actually had swine flu. The others were given it due to the services being totally overwhelmed.
    The same will happen this time too.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.