Pandemic fears growing: new coronavirus mortality rate jumps to 60%, as Italy confirms first case

June 1, 2013MIDDLE EASTFive additional cases of coronavirus, initially named nCoV, has been confirmed in Saudi Arabia, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. The Ministry reported the new cases to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday. Three of the patients have died, as well as a fourth patient — an 81-year-old woman — who was earlier reported to be infected with the virus. All five new patients were from the eastern region of the country, but not from Al-Ahsa, where an April 2013 outbreak occurred in a healthcare facility. The Saudi government is now investigating the likely source of infection in both the healthcare and community settings, according to the WHO. The Ministry said all five patients had underlying medical conditions which resulted in multiple hospitalizations. The first patient, a 56-year-old man, became ill on May 12 and died on May 20. The second patient is an 85-year-old woman who became ill on May 17 and is currently listed in critical condition. The third patient was a 76-year-old woman who became ill on May 17 and was released from the hospital on May 27. The fourth patient was a 77-year-old man who became ill on May 19 and died on May 26. The fifth patient, a 73-year-old man, became ill on May 18 and died on May 26. The new cases now bring the total number of infected persons to 50, according to the NY Daily News. The three latest deaths also bring the coronavirus-related death count to 30, increasing the mortality rate to 60 percent. In a report released on May 28, the WHO issued recommendations for “enhanced surveillance and precautions for the testing and management of suspected cases.” It said it would also continue to work with international partners for as long as needed. The novel coronavirus was redubbed on May 23 following a proposal by the Coronavirus Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). It recommended the virus be called the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The WHO said it generally prefers that viruses are not named after regions or places from where they are initially detected in order to minimize unnecessary geographical discrimination that may be based on coincidental detection rather than a true area for emergence of the virus. The WHO said no group was convened to discuss the naming of the virus, but noted that the proposed name does represent a consensus that is acceptable to the organization, since it was “built on consultation with a large group of scientists.” Although the WHO continues to work closely with countries and international partners, it currently is not advising special screenings pertaining to the virus and it has offered no recommendations on travel or trade restrictions. It said it will continue to closely monitor the situation. But as experts continue to look into cases and deaths pertaining to MERS-CoV, it becomes clear that some level of precaution is needed to ensure the virus is contained. Health experts are calling on healthcare facilities to isolate patients who show signs and symptoms of MERS-CoV for at least 12 days to avoid spreading it to other patients and/or relatives. French health officials recently reported the first death in their country of a man who became ill last month after visiting the Middle East; he spread the infection to a hospital patient who shared a room with him. That second man remains in serious condition, according to the French Health Ministry. Experts are currently unsure how the first cases of the virus infected humans, but believe it came from animals such as bats, camels or goats. Since taking a stronghold, the virus has shown some level of transmissibility between humans, but health officials are stopping short of saying it is highly contagious until more information is on the table. In a speech on Monday, WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, said the MERS-CoV is currently the greatest concern for her organization, calling the ongoing crisis a “threat to the entire world.” Maria Cheng of The Associated Press reported yesterday that French doctors have estimated the incubation period for the disease is between nine and 12 days, longer than an original estimate of between seven and 10 days, reported by other officials. This new estimation is why the experts are calling for longer quarantines, especially since those with underlying medical conditions are very susceptible from exposure to infected persons. In a paper published in The Lancet, the French experts wrote that if the virus further evolves, it could become significantly more dangerous. Further mutations could mean the virus becomes “increasingly transmissible.” –Red Orbit 


Virus spreads to Italy: Italy reported its first case of the SARS-like coronavirus on Friday, a 45-year-old man who had been travelling in Jordan, the health ministry said. The patient was in good condition and was being monitored in isolation, the ministry said in a statement. He was admitted to a hospital in Tuscany with a high fever, a cough and breathing difficulties. A resident of Italy with foreign nationality, the man recently spent 40 days in Jordan where one of his sons was suffering from an unspecified flu. Saudi Arabia has been the most affected by the virus, with 39 cases and 25 deaths so far, according to data from the World Health Organization. The virus, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, has spread from the Gulf to France, Britain and Germany. The WHO has called it the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It is from the same viral family that triggered the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that swept the world in late 2003 and killed 775 people. –Reuters
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9 Responses to Pandemic fears growing: new coronavirus mortality rate jumps to 60%, as Italy confirms first case

  1. deniseandros says:

    This is nothing, just wait till the Pale Horse, and rider, break out of the gate!


  2. Tatiacha says:

    The good news is the only people who get officially diagnosed with these things are the ones who get hospitalized which means there are likely untold thousands of mild cases that may not even have symptoms at all or have mild symptoms for which treatment is never sought. No virus ever actually has 60% mortality. The problem those attempting to create viruses run against is there seems to be an inherent aspect where high mortality means it has a less ability to spread. The more contagious it becomes the lower the mortality and severity of the strain gets. So this just tells of 60% of people who get hit so hard they end up in the hospital die and like various flu and so forth, the the real mortality likely doesn’t even reach 5%. If we get a real pandemic that is capable of taking say 20% of people who get it, the hospitals will be so overwhelmed that society will have trouble functioning and it will hit fast and hard before people have a chance to speculate about it being the next pandemic.


    • elizabeth says:

      ” . . . there seems to be an inherent aspect where high mortality means it has a less ability to spread. The more contagious it becomes the lower the mortality and severity of the strain gets.”

      Then how do you explain HIV?

      I just spent an hour searching for information to validate or argue your statement and could find nothing. Could you share a source or suggest search terms for me to research?


    • IMG

      I think you’ve got the wrong virus. Anybody infected with this virus becomes symptomatic, and most end up in intensive care. Humans have no natural immunity to MERS CoV. If there were carriers who were asymptomatic…scientists would syphoning off his blood for antibodies. Study RNA viruses and how they bind to cell receptors. Further; there is no vaccine for MERS CoV. Pandemics have nothing to do with lethality; they have everything to do with transmissibility. H1N1 has a mortality rate of 1%, yet influenza kills 36,000 a year in the U.S.. The Spanish Flu Influenza pandemic of 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people, and it had a mortality rate- many claim as low as 2.5%. The reason highly pathogenic viruses (like H5N1, Ebola, SARs, Marburg, Machupo, Lassa Fever) don’t spread as easily is because they have a tendency to kill their host so quickly, it diminishes the chances of spreading the infection. We’ve been lulled into a false sense of security because the world has never had a highly pathogenic virus go pandemic. That’s going to change. When Dr. Margaret Chan, the director-general of the United Nation’s World Health Organization, called the virus a “threat to the entire world” on Monday at the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland- that’s exactly what she means.


    • NotToday says:

      I think you’re forgetting about the Black Plague… you know, the one that killed over half of Europe?


  3. JR says:

    40,000 People where killed in 2012 in car accidents.

    List of causes of death by rate


  4. Mike says:

    Just FEAR FACTOR to try and get you to take MERCURY filled shots that also contain cancer causing carthaginians, when they start announcing the virus here in the States. Don’t take the shots. Shots do not help at all, they only hurt. People who take shot are 3 times more likely to get sick. FACT.

    Five Reasons Why I’ll Never Get a Flu Shot


  5. Wilhelm says:

    Older folk with probable weakened immune systems?

    Oh my!


  6. ALBIRRR says:



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