Doctors warned to be vigilant for warn new deadly virus sweeping the globe from Middle East
- The CDC is warning state and local health officials about potential deadly infections from never-before-seen virus
- CDC says people who develop a severe lower respiratory illness within 10 days of returning from the Middle East should be evaluated
- Health officials are also issuing warnings about antibiotic-resistant bugs hitting U.S. hospitals
PUBLISHED: 01:43 EST, 8 March 2013 | UPDATED: 04:59 EST, 8 March 2013
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday warned state and local health officials about potential infections from a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has now sickened 14 people and killed 8.
Most of the infections have occurred in the Middle East, but a new analysis of three confirmed infections in Britain suggests the virus can pass from person to person rather than from animal to humans, the CDC said in its Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report on Thursday.
The virus is a coronavirus, part of the same family of viruses as the common cold and the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003. The new virus is not the same as SARS, but like the SARS virus, it is similar to those found in bats.
The CDC is warning state and local health officials about potential infections from a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has now sickened 14 people and killed 8
So far, no cases have been reported in the United States.
According to the CDC’s analysis, the infections in Britain started with a 60-year-old man who had recently traveled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and developed a respiratory illness on January 24, 2013. Samples from the man showed he was infected with both the new virus and with H1N1, or swine flu.
The infection that is believed to be coming from the Middle East were found in Britain after a 60-year-old man who had recently traveled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and developed a respiratory illness on January 24, 2013. Samples from the man showed he was infected with both the new virus and with H1N1, or swine flu.
This man subsequently passed the infection to two members of his household: a male with an underlying illness who became ill on February 6 and subsequently died; and a healthy adult female in his household who developed a respiratory illness on February 5, but who did not need to be hospitalized and has recovered.
The CDC said people who develop a severe acute lower respiratory illness within 10 days of returning from the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries should continue to be evaluated according to current guidelines.
The health agency said doctors should be watchful of patients who develop an unexplained respiratory infection within 10 days of traveling from the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries.
Symptoms of infection with this new virus include severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Neither the CDC nor the World Health Organization has issued travel restrictions related to the virus.
Warnings of the deadly virus come as the CDC announced concerns over an increasing number of infections from a ‘nightmare bacteria’ found in U.S. hospitals.
Public health officials have warned that in a growing number of cases existing antibiotics do not work against the superbug, Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
Patients became infected with the bacteria in nearly four per cent of US hospitals and in almost 18 per cent of specialist medical facilities in the first half of 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement that the strongest antibiotics ‘don’t work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections.’
He said scientists were ‘raising the alarm’ over the problem following increasing concern.
Increasing numbers of patients in US hospitals have become infected with CRE, which kills up to half of patients who get bloodstream infections from them, according to a new CDC report.
Some of the more than 70 types of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria – including E-coli – have become gradually resistant over a long period of time, even to so-called, ‘last resort drugs’ called carbapenem.
During the last 10 years, the percentage of Enterobacteriaceae that are resistant to these last-ditch antibiotics rose by 400 percent. One type of CRE has increased by a factor of seven over the last decade, Fox News reports.
CRE infections usually affect patients being treated for serious conditions in hospitals, long-term acute-care facilities and nursing homes. Many of these people will use catheters or ventilators as part of their treatment – which are thought to be used by bacteria to enter deep into the patient’s body.