The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a global alert after six cases of a virus resembling the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) were discovered in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Two of the six cases confirmed by laboratories have been fatal, leading to fears of an outbreak similar to the original SARS virus in 2002-03, which killed around 10 percent of the 8,000 humans infected.
“From our understanding of the virus so far, and given the enhanced surveillance that is in place, we expect to see more cases reported and confirmed,” WHO spokesman, Glen Thomas, told IRIN. “We also expect to see more cases from countries other than the two that have confirmed cases so far.” WHO scientists are trying to find out the cause of the infections, and ascertain whether the virus is moving from human to human.
A study published by scientists from the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam last week found similarities between the new SARS-like virus and a virus found in bats in Saudi Arabia.
The Daily Mail October 6, 2012
A man diagnosed with a tropical disease after returning to the UK from Afghanistan has died in hospital, it has emerged today.
The 38-year-old was fighting for his life in a high security isolation ward at the Royal Free Hospital in London after contracting the deadly Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF).
He was transferred by the RAF on a C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Brownlee Unit in Glasgow to the specialist high security unit at the Royal Free London on Thursday.
It is the first laboratory-confirmed case of CCHF in the UK, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Other passengers who sat close to him on an aircraft are undergoing daily health checks.
‘Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever can be acquired from an infected patient only through direct contact with their blood or body fluids, therefore there is no risk to the general public,’ the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said.
‘We would like to extend our condolences to his family.’
The man, 38, was diagnosed when he returned to Glasgow on a flight from Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday.
He had flown into Scotland on a connecting flight from Dubai.
UN Soldiers are not alone in spreading Cholera.
Civilian Contractors are being hospitalized with Cholera patients, infected, and then repatriated.
ABC News January 12, 2012
The vicious form of cholera has already killed 7,000 people in Haiti, where it surfaced in a remote village in October 2010. Leading researchers from Harvard Medical School and elsewhere told ABC News that, despite UN denials, there is now a mountain of evidence suggesting the strain originated in Nepal, and was carried to Haiti by Nepalese soldiers who came to Haiti to serve as UN peacekeepers after the earthquake that ravaged the country on Jan. 12, 2010 — two years ago today. Haiti had never seen a case of cholera until the arrival of the peacekeepers, who allegedly failed to maintain sanitary conditions at their base.
“What scares me is that the strain from South Asia has been recognized as more virulent, more capable of causing severe disease, and more transmissible,” said John Mekalanos, who chairs the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School. “These strains are nasty. So far there has been no secondary outbreak. But Haiti now represents a foothold for a particularly dangerous variety of this deadly disease.”
More than 500,000 Haitians have been infected, and Mekalanos said a handful of victims who contracted cholera in Haiti have now turned up in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and in Boston, Miami and New York, but only in isolated cases
BRAZZAVILLE, 15 June 2011 (IRIN) – Almost 1,000 suspected cases of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne viral disease that causes fever and severe joint pain, have been recorded in the Republic of Congo’s capital over the past two weeks.
The disease’s symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash, and are similar to those of dengue fever. There is no known cure; treatment consists of relieving the symptoms.
Dokekias said the first cases appeared in early June in the poor neighbourhoods of Bacongo and Makelekele in the south of Brazzaville.
Of 48 samples analysed in a laboratory in neighbouring Gabon, just over half tested positive for the virus, he said.