Of Dozen People With New SARS-Like Virus, 6 Dead

But threat remains low even after death of UK patient
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 19, 2013 9:57 AM CST
This undated image released by the British Health Protection Agency shows an electron microscope image of a coronavirus.   (AP Photo/Health Protection Agency)

(Newser) – A UK patient has died after being infected with a SARS-like virus, meaning 50% of the known victims of the disease have now died. But the BBC reports that even with the staggering mortality rate, the novel coronavirus isn't considered a major threat because it doesn't easily move between humans. Still, such transmissions have likely occurred: A UK man apparently became infected after travel to the Middle East and Pakistan; he appears to have transmitted to two family members, including his son, who died.

The son had a compromised immune system. "Given the previous health status of the patient, it may be premature to assume the death was a result of the infection, but even if it was, it is unlikely to signify a change in the virus," a doctor says. "No general virus spread has been reported, meaning the risk to the public remains very low." (Read more SARS stories.)

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