A deadly SARS-like virus called novel coronavirus has reportedly claimed a tenth victim, who died last night at Schwabing Hospital in Munich, Germany. If the report stands up, then the death rate for the new disease will be almost 60 percent, since there are 17 known cases.
The patient was allegedly a 73-year-old man in poor health who had little chance of surviving.
The World Health Organization (WHO) hadn’t confirmed that report at the time of writing. However, they do describe a more worrying death that occurred on March 2. That patient was only 39 years old, and he had only been sick enough to be hospitalized for less than three days before he passed away.
At the time of WHO’s last report, there were 15 known cases of the SARS-like virus and nine total deaths.
As The Inquisitr reported earlier in the outbreak, the new coronavirus is a member of the large family of disease organisms that spread miseries as mild as the common cold or as serious as the often-fatal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Fortunately, the new disease doesn’t seem to spread very easily. It emerged late last year in the Middle East. The UK and German patients had either traveled there or had family ties there.
However, because the SARS-like disease appears to kill more than half the people it infects, authorities want to keep track of it. Mike Skinner, a coronavirus expert at Imperial College London, said that researchers have worked fast. “We have its complete gene sequence,” he confirmed.
Because it spreads inefficiently, another British expert, Ian Jones from the University of Reading, suggested that this particular SARS-like virus will just peter out.
However, SARS itself wasn’t easily spread person to person — with the exception of a few people known as superspreaders, who were responsible for most of the outbreak centers around the world. For instance, a superspreader in Singapore allegedly infected 62 people, and a Toronto superspreader infected 44.
Let’s hope the new SARS-like virus conks out before it meets its first superspreader.
[photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons]