Animals May Spread New SARS Outbreak

December 13, 2012

Research suggests that the new SARS-like virus may be more transmissible than SARS. First, about half the cases seem to have been transmitted human-to-human. Second, unlike SARS (which originated in bats but is now only found in humans) the new virus from the SARS family seems to be able to go back and forth between humans and animals.

Scarier Than Swine Flu?

Besides bats, which animals can or do carry the new SARS virus isn’t clear—it’s only been known for a few months and research efforts aren’t as well coordinated as they could be. The WHO has already issued a warning that with winter travel the virus may spread

What are the new-SARS symptoms? It’s a respiratory illness that can cause kidney failure—so it may start out looking like a really bad flu. The WHO has stated that any cluster cases of the flu, especially among healthcare professionals, should be investigated. Untreated or not carefully monitored, the SARS family of viruses have a high mortality rate.

There’s not much to do right now. Keep your immune system strong, and take extra precautions when in crowds or travelling (wash hands more frequently, touch airport surfaces sparingly, be careful around people who show signs of respiratory illness like coughing).

How do you protect your health when travelling?

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