NPR : News

Filed Under:

Middle East Coronavirus Shows Up In Italy

Now a virus that has caused respiratory failure and 30 deaths has turned up in Italy.

The World Health Organization says lab tests have confirmed the infections in a 2-year-old girl and a 42-year-old woman with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, as it's now called.

Both of the patients, who are in stable condition, are close contacts of someone who traveled to Jordan recently, the WHO says.

Illnesses caused by the virus have originated in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, WHO says. In France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, there have been additional cases seen in people who had traveled in the Middle East or who'd been in close contact with someone who had.

All told, there have been 53 cases where lab tests have showed conclusively that the virus was to blame, WHO says.

A recent French report on two cases (one involving a man who had traveled to Dubai and the other in a man who shared his hospital room) indicates that the incubation period for the virus may be as long as nine to 12 days, rather than one to nine days. That suggests that any quarantine of infected people may have to be prolonged to limit the spread of the virus.

WHO says doctors and hospitals should take care to prevent the spread of MERS-CoV by observing infection prevention and control measures.

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general, recently called the virus "a threat to the entire world." Why? "We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat," she said. "Any new disease that is emerging faster than our understanding is never under control."

Although the coronavirus remains mysterious, there are some clues about its origin. An analysis of its genetic material last September found that it most closely resembled coronaviruses known to infect bats in Southeast Asia.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Professional Wrestling World Mourns Longtime Star 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper

The Canadian entered the WWF as a villain and fought Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in the first Wrestlemania event. The career gave the often-bekilted grappler many chances to show off his bagpipe skills.
WAMU 88.5

Donald Trump Sues Chef José Andrés Over Hotel Pullout

Trump has filed a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against Chef José Andrés and his companies after Andrés announced that he's canceling plans to have a restaurant inside Trump's Old Post Office hotel in downtown D.C.
NPR

Pacific Trade Pact In Limbo As Talks End Without A Deal

Disagreements remain among the 12 countries regarding drug patents, market access and more, and likely will delay congressional debate of any eventual agreement into 2016.
NPR

Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.