New Mystery Virus Kills Ninth Victim

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The CDC is stepping up efforts to educate the public about the new mystery virus that has yet to land on U.S. shores. Creative Commons

As we have previously reported, the new virus has claimed victims in the UK, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Now, it has claimed its nineth victim, bringing the total confirmed infected to 15. According to the World Health Organization, the 39-year-old became ill with symptoms of the virus, on Feb. 24 but then after spending days in the hospital died on March 2.

Medical professionals are worried that this virus may have the ability to spread from person to person because one victim in the UK who died had not traveled to Saudi Arabia. The leading theory is that the patient had most likely caught the virus from an infected family member who brought it back from the Middle East to the UK.

This virus is in the family of coronaviruses, the same group that was responsible for the 2003 outbreak of SARS that killed over 700 people and sickened thousands before disappearing. 

This new virus has been known of since September when its genetic code was sequenced. It was determined that a patient that had died in the UK under mysterious circumstances fell victim to a new virus, previously unknown to mankind. The victim was a Qatari man who had traveled to Saudi Arabia shortly before becoming ill.

"Preliminary investigation indicated that the [latest Saudi] patient had no contact with previously reported cases of NCoV infection," the WHO said. "Other potential exposures are under investigation."

Symptoms of the disease consist of respiratory distress, fever, coughing and difficulty in breathing. 

The CDC recently released information in a new website designed to educate the public on the threat. Doctors are encouraged to be vigilant and be aware of the signs and symptoms of the new virus. 

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