Cases of novel coronavirus confirmed in Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia informed the World Health Organization on Wednesday that it confirmed an additional two cases of novel coronavirus.

Novel coronavirus, also known as nCoV and Saudi SARS, is a new type of coronavirus that was discovered in 2012. Saudi SARS is closely related to the more famous SARS, which has been labeled Hong Kong SARS to avoid confusion, and is believed to have originated with an unknown animal species.

SARS works by evading the innate immune responses and disrupting interferon production in the cells. The result is a severe acute pneumonia, which can eventually lead to renal failure and death.

The most recent case involved two health care workers who were exposed to patients that had contracted nCoV. One of the new patients is a 45-yer-old man that became ill on May 2, while the other is a 43-year-old woman who became ill on May 8. The man is currently in critical condition.

There have been a total of 21 patients with nCoV in the Eastern part of Saudi Arabia, with 9 deaths reported. Since September 2012, there have been a total of 40 cases of nCoV in 6 countries, with 20 of the 40 cases resulting in death.