Published September 24, 2012 | 11:21 am
London:THE World Health Organisation says it is too soon to say whether there could be an outbreak of a SARS-like killer respiratory disease after health officials in Britain announced they detected a related virus in a severely ill patient from the Middle East.
Global health officials are closely following a new respiratory virus related to SARS that is believed to have killed at least one person in Saudi Arabia and left another person in critical condition in Britain.
The germ is a coronavirus, from a family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as SARS, the severe acute respiratory syndrome that killed some 800 people, mostly in Asia, in a 2003 epidemic.
In the latest case, British officials alerted the World Health Organization on Saturday of the new virus in a man who transferred from Qatar to be treated in London. He had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and is now being treated in an intensive care unit after suffering kidney failure.