Hong Kong Researchers Examine Health Risks Of New SARS-Like Virus

“A new coronavirus that emerged in the Middle East last fall could be deadlier than the SARS virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 774 people between 2002 and 2003, researchers from the University of Hong Kong said … in a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases this week,” GlobalPost reports. “Unlike SARS, the new virus, which has killed 11 people since September 2012, has the ability to damage many different organs in the body, the researchers explained,” according to the news service (Stainburn, 3/28). Ten years after SARS “swept through Hong Kong and then around the world, the city is among the first to become worried about the emergence and spread of another, genetically related virus in the Middle East,” the New York Times notes. “Some health experts in the West have been wary of drawing too much attention to the new virus, a coronavirus like SARS,” the newspaper writes, adding, “They point out that as researchers have begun looking harder for coronaviruses after the SARS outbreak, they have found more of them.” The New York Times continues, “One big question is whether far more people are being infected without detection, in which case the disease may kill a lower percentage of victims but also be more transmissible” (Bradsher, 3/28).

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