WHO makes no change to risk assessment for novel coronavirus

Coronavirus

The recent infection of a patient in England with a SARS-like virus did not change the World Health Organization’s risk assessment of the novel coronavirus.

The WHO said that the new case, however, does indicate that the virus is persistent. The case brought the total number of infections with the virus up to 10 globally, with five deaths, Reuters reports.

The NCoV shares some symptoms of SARS, a coronavirus that killed approximately one-tenth of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide in 2002. Symptoms include fever, coughing, severe respiratory illness and breathing difficulties.

“Testing for the new coronavirus of patients with unexplained pneumonias, or patients with severe, progressive or complicated illness not responding to treatment, should be considered – especially in persons residing in or returning from the Arabian peninsula and neighboring countries,” the WHO said, according to Reuters.

The WHO said that the new patient developed symptoms on January 26. Laboratory tests confirmed that the patient contracted both an H1N1 swine flu infection and a confirmed NCoV infection.

The WHO said that there was no need for any trade or travel restrictions or for any special border point screenings because of the virus.

The U.K. Health Protection Agency said that it provided advice to make sure that the patient was treated appropriately and that healthcare staff were protected from the spread of the disease, Reuters reports.

“Our assessment is that the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains extremely low and the risk to travelers to the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries remains very low,” the HPA said, according to Reuters.

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