Saudi Arabia Sars-like virus ‘kills five’

BBC News reports: “Five people in Saudi Arabia have died from a Sars-like virus and two more are seriously ill, officials say.

The seven cases were all from al-Ahsa governorate in the east of the country, the Saudi news agency SPA said citing health officials.

The novel coronavirus (NCoV) causes pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure.

It is from the same family of viruses as the one that caused an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) that emerged in Asia in 2003.

In the statement released by SPA, the Saudi health ministry said it was taking ‘all precautionary measures for persons who have been in contact with the infected people… and has taken samples from them to examine if they are infected’.

However, the ministry gave no details on how many people had been tested for the disease.

In March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it had been informed of 17 confirmed cases of NCoV worldwide, including 11 deaths.

Cases have been detected in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Germany and the UK…” (Jesus predicted a deluge of diseases through virus attacks and animal diseases. It’s coming during the 7 year Tribulation period – Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11; Revelation 6:7, 8. See the next two reports.)

China bird flu: Reported H7N9 cases rise to 60

BBC News reports: “China has reported 11 fresh cases of bird flu, with the virus now appearing in the central province of Henan and the capital Beijing.

The new cases of the H7N9 strain bring the total number of reported cases to 60. Two more people have now died.

Authorities believe the virus is being spread through direct contact with infected poultry.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said there was no evidence yet of human-to-human transmission.

Michael O’Leary, the WHO’s representative in China, said cases did not appear to be connected.

‘There’s no way to predict how it will spread but it’s not surprising if we have new cases in different places like we do in Beijing,’ he told reporters.

On Saturday [April 13, 2013] a seven-year-old girl became Beijing’s first confirmed case of the H7N9 strain.

Two cases were reported in the central Henan province, while the others were seen in and around Shanghai, where the virus first appeared in February.

Two new deaths announced … were also in Shanghai, bringing the total number of dead to 13…”

WHO says new bird strain is “one of most lethal” flu viruses

Reuters reports: “A new bird flu strain that has killed 22 people in China is ‘one of the most lethal’of its kind and transmits more easily to humans than another strain that has killed hundreds since 2003, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said …

The H7N9 flu has infected 108 people in China since it was first detected in March, according to the Geneva-based WHO.

Although it is not clear exactly how people are being infected, experts say they see no evidence so far of the most worrisome scenario – sustained transmission between people.

An international team of scientists led by the WHO and the Chinese government conducted a five-day investigation in China, but said they were no closer to determining whether the virus might become transmissible between people.

‘The situation remains complex and difficult and evolving,’ said Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security.

‘When we look at influenza viruses, this is an unusually dangerous virus for humans,’ he said at a briefing.

Another bird flu strain – H5N1 – has killed 30 of the 45 people it infected in China between 2003 and 2013, and although the H7N9 strain in the current outbreak has a lower fatality rate to date, Fukuda said: ‘This is definitely one of the most lethal influenza viruses that we’ve seen so far.’

Scientists who have analyzed genetic sequence data from samples from three H7N9 victims say the strain is a so-called ‘triple reassortant’ virus with a mixture of genes from three other flu strains found in birds in Asia…”