Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Global Impact: WHO, French Investigate SARS-Like Strain

According to, French authorities are now seeking all tourists who traveled on the same nine-day package tour of the emirate last month. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now awaiting the result of the French probe.

A 65-year-old man became France’s first case of the SARS-related novel coronavirus disease after returning to France from Dubai on April 17. Six days later, he was hospitalized with respiratory problems in Valenciennes, before being taken to the northern city of Lille. While he was at the hospital in Lille, the virus spread to another patient who was sharing the same room. A nurse who cared for the two men is also under observation. 

COMMENT: The strain appears to have originated in the Persian Gulf and has killed 18 people globally since it was first detected last year.

WHO has said that the disease can be passed between people who had been in sustained contact, but unlike SARS, it seems unlikely that it can be picked up from once-off contact. 

The disease is from the same family of viruses as SARS. Yet, the virus is far less transmissible than SARS.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.