July 25, 2014

Two New Deadly Viruses to Be Aware of

Yahoo news has an article called “2 new viruses could both spark global outbreaks” that details two new deadly viruses. One is a coronavirus related to SARS, about which they had the following to say:

“The coronavirus related to SARS spread to France, where one patient who probably caught the disease in Dubai infected his hospital roommate. Officials are now trying to track down everyone who went on a tour group holiday to Dubai with the first patient as well as all contacts of the second patient. Since it was first spotted last year, the new coronavirus has infected 34 people, killing 18 of them. Nearly all had some connection to the Middle East.”

Here is what they had to say about the other virus:

“At the same time, a new bird flu strain, H7N9, has been infecting people in China since at least March, causing 32 deaths out of 131 known cases.”

Some of what I find concerning is that, as of the time of this writing, there are some theories but it is unknown how the virus is transmitted. The thing I find most alarming is the high mortality rate of each. The coronavirus is killing 50% of those infected and the H7N9 bird flu variant is killing roughly 25%.

The article goes on to say:

“WHO, which is closely monitoring the viruses, says both have the potential to cause a pandemic — a global epidemic — if they evolve into a form easily spread between people. Here’s a crash course in what we know so far about them:”

f you think back a few years to the H1N1 or swine flu, you might remember it was classified as a pandemic. However, the morbidity (infection rate) and mortality (death rate) were lowered to classify it as one. H1N1 had a mortality rate of 9.6%. It did, however, have a much higher morbidity rate than either of the two new viruses.

I have covered pandemic in other articles, so I’ll not rehash it all, but just link to it. First, in “How a True Pandemic May Look”, I explain what we can expect if a true pandemic, similar to those we have seen in history, sets in. In “Review of After Armageddon”, I review a History Channel show that explores what life may look like during and after a pandemic-like event.

Lastly, I covered “The N95 Face Mask”. There are many who push the N95 as a means to limit exposure to contagions. As I explain in that article, health professionals use a variation of the N95 called NIOSH certified. Keep in mind that health professionals use these as a precaution and do not know for sure if it will stop the spread, as they have not been tested against a pandemic.

If you want to keep up-to-date with these or other virus outbreaks, you can do so at WHO Disease Outbreak News (DONs).

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