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France: First death from killer SARS-like virus00:51

France: First death from killer SARS-like virus

France, Lille
May 30, 2013 at 21:43 GMT +00:00 · Published

France: First death from killer SARS-like virus

A 65-year-old man died on Tuesday after being diagnosed with a novel coronavirus infection, which has been termed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), at the Roger Salengro Hospital in Lille, France. Another 50-year-old man in the same hospital is also infected with the virus, having fallen victim after sharing a bedroom with the first patient.

The now deceased man was hospitalised on April 23 due to severe digestion problems, which erupted soon after his return from Dubai. Three days after sharing a room, the second man too was diagnosed with the virus.

Hospital authorities said that both men were placed in isolated rooms once they became aware of their critical condition. Both were given cardiac and respiratory support oxygen, a procedure administered only after a severely damaged heart and lungs fails to work. Currently, authorities say that the second man is in "serious but stable condition".

The virus presents similarly to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the cause of a major health scare in 2003. Like SARS, MERS also appears to cause an infection of the lungs, leaving the infected suffering from high temperatures, breathing difficulties and severe coughing. It differs from SARS, however, in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been a total of 44 cases of the MERS virus, with Saudi Arabia at the epicentre after suffering a total of 30 confirmed infections and 18 fatalities. There have been cases in Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as in Europe. Germany, Britain and now France have admitted patients with the illness.

Bats have been pinpointed as a likely root reservoir for the SARS virus, with medical researchers now investigating to see if the MERS virus has a similar link. The WHO publicly stated on Friday that it will work closely with Saudi Arabia and the Middle Eastern countries to determine the dangers of the virus and the increasing risks of infection.

Professor Ian Jones, a virologist from the University of Reading, played down fears of the virus becoming an endemic infection by saying that the virus does not transfer among people, and that France was an "unusual circumstance" due to a close containment.

France: First death from killer SARS-like virus00:51
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France: First death from killer SARS-like virus

A 65-year-old man died on Tuesday after being diagnosed with a novel coronavirus infection, which has been termed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), at the Roger Salengro Hospital in Lille, France. Another 50-year-old man in the same hospital is also infected with the virus, having fallen victim after sharing a bedroom with the first patient.

The now deceased man was hospitalised on April 23 due to severe digestion problems, which erupted soon after his return from Dubai. Three days after sharing a room, the second man too was diagnosed with the virus.

Hospital authorities said that both men were placed in isolated rooms once they became aware of their critical condition. Both were given cardiac and respiratory support oxygen, a procedure administered only after a severely damaged heart and lungs fails to work. Currently, authorities say that the second man is in "serious but stable condition".

The virus presents similarly to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the cause of a major health scare in 2003. Like SARS, MERS also appears to cause an infection of the lungs, leaving the infected suffering from high temperatures, breathing difficulties and severe coughing. It differs from SARS, however, in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been a total of 44 cases of the MERS virus, with Saudi Arabia at the epicentre after suffering a total of 30 confirmed infections and 18 fatalities. There have been cases in Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as in Europe. Germany, Britain and now France have admitted patients with the illness.

Bats have been pinpointed as a likely root reservoir for the SARS virus, with medical researchers now investigating to see if the MERS virus has a similar link. The WHO publicly stated on Friday that it will work closely with Saudi Arabia and the Middle Eastern countries to determine the dangers of the virus and the increasing risks of infection.

Professor Ian Jones, a virologist from the University of Reading, played down fears of the virus becoming an endemic infection by saying that the virus does not transfer among people, and that France was an "unusual circumstance" due to a close containment.

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