Category: News / September 25, 2012 8:59 AM EDT
A Qatari man struck down with a previously unknown virus that comes from the same family as the deadly SARS infection and the common cold, is critically ill in hospital in Britain. The news was confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday.
The virus known as coronavirus, come from the same family as SARS which emerged in 2002 and killed 800 people, but WHO says the virus is different than any previously found in humans. WHO spokesperson, Gregory Hartl spoke about the virus in Geneva:
"It's a coronavirus, it's a new coronavirus, and it's a virus which causes pneumonia and pretty rapid kidney failure. We don't know how many cases there have been so far because what happens in a health system normally is only something out of the ordinary, something severe gets notified. So we've had three severe cases notified to us. One which will never be tested because the person died before he could be tested and two cases which have been tested and are positive for this new virus,"
The Qatari man first showed symptoms of an acute respiratory infection while he was in Qatar. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that includes causes of the common cold but can also include more severe illness such as the virus responsible for SARS.