With a new bird flu in China, it’s easy to forget that there’s another worrisome virus emerging in the Middle East.
Today we got a rude reminder of its presence.
Five more people have died from a new SARS-like virus on the Arabian Peninsula, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Two others are being treated in intensive care.
That brings the total cases to 24, including 16 deaths.
Since the virus first appeared in April 2012, it has been detected in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the U.K.
Genetic sequencing shows that nCoV — shown here under the transmission electron microscope — is most closely related to a bat virus. But health workers still don’t know where the virus comes from.
"That’s the million-dollar question," virologist Alison Bermingham of the U.K. Health Protection Agency told Shots a few weeks ago. “We don’t really know how any of these patients have caught the virus, except for the two families in the U.K.,” Bermingham said, referring to the first 17 cases.