WHO Issues Update on Novel Coronavirus: No New Cases Since Initial Two Cases

Posted on September 29, 2012

The World Health Organization (WHO) has posted a new update on the new Sars-like coronavirus discovered last week. A revised interim case definition was also issued. The WHO also said yesterday, "From the information available thus far, it appears that the novel coronavirus cannot be easily transmitted from person-to-person."

No new cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus have been discovered. This is good news as more cases would probably have shown up by now if we were looking at a new Sars-like situation. However, the WHO is not going to let its guard down given the severity of the initial two cases and the fact that this is a newly encountered virus.

CBS News reports that Britain's Health Protection Agency has found the new virus is most closely linked to bat viruses. It could also be linked to camels, sheep or goats.

WHO first warned about the novel coronavirus on September 24th. The virus would need to be able spread from person-to-person in order to be a pandemic threat. It would also need to cause serious illness or death in at least a small percentage of those it infected. There are only two known cases to date. A 60 year-old Saudi national who died and a 49 year-old Qatari national who is hospitalized in the UK. It is possible there are other people who were infected by the virus, but did not suffer symptoms. It is also possible others died from the virus before these two cases but the cause of death was listed as something else, such as influenza.