Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Travel health centre

This article is from the WebMD News Archive

Birmingham patient dies from SARS

By
WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Keith David Barnard
69x75_microscope_3.jpg

19th February 2013 - A patient being treated in Birmingham has died from a new virus, called a novel coronavirus.

The man died from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the critical care unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on Sunday morning, the hospital has announced.

The patient was already an outpatient at the hospital for a long-term, unrelated health condition which had affected his immune system.

The patient is believed to have caught the virus from a relative who is being treated for the condition in a Manchester hospital. Another family member is also being treated.

Previous cases had only been seen in people who've returned from visits abroad. Two of the latest cases had no history of recent travel, which the Health Protection Agency (HPA) believes means that transmission occurred in the UK.

However, officials say the threat of the infection spreading across the population remains low.

Coronaviruses

Many coronaviruses are not a cause for concern. Some strains cause the common cold but also include SARS.

The new coronavirus was first identified in September last year in a patient who died from a severe respiratory infection earlier in the year.

The virus caused serious respiratory illness in the patient who presented with fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Since September last year, there have been a total of 12 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus globally, with six deaths.

Person-to-person transmission

The HPA says intensive work has been carried out in the UK to identify people who've been in contact with the infected family members. More than 100 people who had close contact with the cases have been checked but not found to have the virus.

Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA, says in a statement: "The risk of infection in contacts in most circumstances is still considered to be low and the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains very low.

"The three recent cases in the UK represent an important opportunity to obtain more information about the characteristics of this infection in humans and risk factors for its acquisition, particularly in the light of the first ever recorded instance of apparently lower severity of illness in one of the cases."

Reviewed on February 19, 2013

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

mature woman
Go for the glow!
avacado on whole wheat crackers
Plenty of healthy options
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
baby eating from spoon
What to feed your baby in the first year
cold sore
How to cope with cold sores
womans eye
See what eye conditions look like
toddler doodling
What to expect in your child's second year
bain illustration
Best foods for your brain
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning for a healthy home
mother and child
Could your baby be allergic to milk?
cute baby
Simple tips to keep baby's skin healthy