New SARS Like Virus Now In France

May 9, 2013

Sick Lady with MaskThe new SARS like virus (same flu like effects plus rapid kidney failure) that originated in Saudi Arabia is now in France. Authorities are saying that it doesn’t seem to spread easily between people but past cases have shown that close quarters will do the trick.

The WHO is not doing a good job of coordinating research on this new, worse version of SARS. 10 years ago researchers around the world worked together to trace the virus. Now, WHO is saying it doesn’t have good information on how it’s spread, where exactly it comes from, etc. Instead they are warning health institutions around the world to look closely at any flu like symptoms (especially if unexpected).

The new SARS like virus isn’t as scary as the outbreak of bird flu going on in Asia, but given people from all over the globe travel to and from the middle east, predicting which country it could show up in next is almost impossible.

There’s also the concern that there may be asymptomatic or low-symptom carriers, and that it could spread that way. (Think students—young enough their immune system handles the virus okay, but able to spread it quickly in dormitory settings, and sending it home from there).

Which foreign virus do you think is the most worrisome?

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