New SARS-Like Virus Is Spreading Fast: Here's What You Need to Know

OMG 19

doctorGet out the old surgical mask, cause there's a new virus in town -- and it's looking a lot like SARS. (You remember SARS, right? Also known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the potentially lethal form of pneumonia came on the scene around 2003 and spread like wildfire around the globe. It was super scary. It killed killed approximately one tenth of the 8,000 people it infected.)

Yeah. So it was somewhat alarming back in September when the World Health Organisation (WHO) put out an "international alert" about a British man who had contracted a "virus previously unknown in humans." Which turned out to belong to the same virus family as SARS. And is now spreading ...

YIKES! They're calling it novel coronavirus, a.k.a. NCoV, and the most recent infection brings the grand total of confirmed cases up to 12 worldwide (4 have been diagnosed in Britain). Also, it can spread from person to person in the same way as the flu, travelling through the year when someone sneezes or coughs. Okay ... freak out time?!

More from The Stir: The Flu Is as Bad as You've Heard: 6 Ways to Get Through It

Well, maybe not. Health officials have made a point of saying the risk to the general population is very low. But just in case, here's what you need to know:

The symptoms of NCoV are very similar to those of SARS, including "severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties." But, like SARS, it IS treatable -- so if you're really sick, just do everybody a favor and go to the doctor. Better safe than sorry.

Are you worried about this new, SARS-like virus?


Image via Alex Proimos/Flickr



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bella... bellacazzate

Slowwwww gossip day. 

nonmember avatar Gretta

Do they have a SARS shot yet?

Shannon Mindeth Weirich

What they were trying to impress into your quick to dismiss minds, is that it (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) killed 1 out of every ten people who had the illness. Had this mutated at all and became more susceptible, even at the rate of 1/10th, and saying only 1/3 people in contact with it caught it... the numbers could be devastating. 12 world wide *currently, who's to say that will not change, seeing as how the first few cases were only reported a few days ago in UK, but has been-- "In recent months, a new (or novel) coronavirus has been identified in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan" according to the CDC, while it does have a low transmission, and is not something to get super worked up over, there is no need to be so rash in the dismissal of information, or even harsh to the bearer of such news. Sadly, I believe this person is preaching to mindless sheep, as no one has the gratitude to say, "Thanks for your work put into find this info". Some days I think we do need a good plague (and believe it or not, we are statistically due for one). Or it least a decent global power outage, to subside the lack of anonymity we have hiding behind a screen name that makes some forget any sort of manners we might have once had. Thank you for the information Jacqueline Burt, as I have been following this myself.

Melan... MelanieJK

No,   I'm suffering from virus scare fatigue.

How many virus scares have we had this year?      It's getting to be a cry wolf situation.    

Robo Kitty Davis

This article has got to be joking...the % of people infected compared to the global population is super low. You have to lack some serious math skills to find this even remotely scary :/

Julia Ann McNair Greenborn

the new virus like sars virus is called novel coronavirus dogs get coronavirus wonder if the two are related

Memigen Memigen

Ugh, I've been sick for WEEKS.  But it can't possibly be this because my fever hasn't been constant.  Although you never know.

Multiple typing errors in this post.  May want to check them a bit closer next time.  Killing is repeated and other posters have noted the other issues. :)

Ashlee Logan

The grand total is 12 cases worldwide? Seriously, that is horrible journalism. More people than that died in car accidents yesterday. For heaven's sake...

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