- Jacqui Wise
- 1 London
A new strain of coronavirus that causes acute serious respiratory illness has been confirmed in a patient in Britain.
The man, a 49 year old from Qatar who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia, is currently receiving intensive care in a London hospital. The virus is genetically the same as one recently isolated by Dutch researchers in a patient from Saudi Arabia who later died. These are the only two confirmed cases of the strain anywhere in the world.
There is a variety of coronaviruses, which include the viruses that cause the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS, first identified in China in 2003, killed around 750 people globally before being brought under control.