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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Julie Winkler

I try not to worry about this stuff to much. As world population grows and moves around more crazy illnesses are apt to show up more frequently. I wash my hands frequently and take homeopathic medicine that boosts the immune system. Worrying won't keep you any healthier and stres is a good way to weaken your immune system.

marie... mariesmama

my daughter has bronchitis according to the dr

nonmember avatar blue

Killing 1/10th of 8,000 people...out of billions is NOT scary!!!! No, I'm not worried.

tuffy... tuffymama

Not concerned. We've built healthy immune systems and even if we contracted it, I doubt it would affect us much.

Scrlt... ScrltBegonia

When I think of disease spreading like wildfire around the world I think in numbers like Hundreds of thousands getting sick. Then you casually throw in the number 8000. In a world of billions of people 8000 is barely a spark. Nice try at scaring us blogger, but luckily we aren't all mindless sheep.

onefo... onefootcutiepie

WTF?? Grand total of 12 cases........dude.

insei... inseineangel

Lol... 'year'... I think you meant 'air'. Auto-correct?

the4m... the4mutts

12 world-wide? No, Im not worried.

Vegeta Vegeta

12 godzillas wouldn't even be very scary. Just keep your hands washed.

dreamsky dreamsky

Ain't nobody got time for that!

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