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Author Topic: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?  (Read 8671 times)

Offline Exodus

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Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« on: 19/03/2003 13:00:21 »
As the title says... any news on this virus? [xx(][xx(][xx(]

Thats Economics...
« Last Edit: 25/03/2004 08:25:24 by NakedScientist »


 

Offline chris

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #1 on: 23/03/2003 12:45:00 »
The feeling among virologists is that this novel virus shares a number of features with the paramyxovirus family which includes mumps and measles amongst their number !

As it is a virus, antibiotics not helpful unless the patient develops a secondary bacterial chest infection owing to damage to the lungs by the virus as it replicates (grows).

The number of cases is low and hence there is probably no cause for concern. We should be more worried about the number of people who have not have their children immunised against measles, mumps and rubella. Measles is fatal for some children, and can cause post-infective fatal neurological syndromes including SSPE (subacute sclerosing pan-encephalitis) and PIE (post infectious encephalitis). Which kill you.

C
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #2 on: 23/03/2003 18:14:49 »
thats a relief!!! I've had measles and mumps and you never know i might get rubella if i have that operation i've been planning ;)

I better not get ill!!!!!

Thats Economics...
 

Offline chris

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #3 on: 07/04/2003 14:45:42 »
For up to date info on sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) check out the following resources :

CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention)
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/

WHO (World Health Organisation)
http://www.who.int/csr/sars/en/

The current feeling is that the culprit behind this outbreak is a strain of coronavirus (so called because under e-m the virus appears to have a crown or halo (corona) around it). Coronaviruses are frequetly implicated as the cause of 'colds'

Chris
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #4 on: 18/04/2003 12:45:15 »
Here's the latest (April 19th) BMJ publication on the outbreak entitled :

"Outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: case report"

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7394/850

And here's the BMJ editorial from the end of March on the sitution :

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7391/669
« Last Edit: 18/04/2003 12:47:35 by NakedScientist »
 

Offline thedoc

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #5 on: 24/04/2003 18:40:37 »
BMJ PRESS RELEASE REGARDING URGENT REQUIREMENT FOR SARS POLICY IN SCHOOLS

Letter: Policies on SARS are confused in UK boarding schools BMJ Volume 326, p 929

The Government should urgently develop a common SARS policy for UK boarding schools, according to a letter in this week's BMJ.

Current school policies on SARS are confusing, writes Ian Wong at the University of London School of Pharmacy. Some Chinese students are subjected to quarantine imposed by their schools, while one school is reported to be excluding students returning from certain parts of the Far East after Easter.

Yet the Health Protection Agency states that there is no need for students returning from areas affected by SARS to be excluded or quarantined unless they are unwell.

The author identified SARS policies in 10 UK boarding schools. Five schools followed the Health Protection Agency's recommendation, and four stated that up to 10 day's quarantine was required. One school advised students "not to return for the summer term until such a time that the school is satisfied that the virus is understood, contained, and an appropriate treatment is available."

The author urges the Department for Education and Skills and the Department of Health to work together in this matter urgently and develop a common policy for schools. This will assist schools in making rational decisions and more importantly address the fear of parents and children.
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #6 on: 28/04/2003 08:47:35 »
This WHO link logs cumulative SARS cases :

http://www.who.int/csr/sarscountry/2003_04_21/en/
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #7 on: 07/05/2003 02:06:00 »
DISPOSABLE FACE MASKS GIVE WEARERS A FALSE SENSE OF PROTECTION...

Disposable face masks worn to ward off SARS are giving individuals a false sense of protection, says Thomas Terndrup, M.D., director of the Center for Disaster Preparedness at UAB. Particularly in countries experiencing the highest rates of SARS, many individuals are wearing the masks to stave off the deadly virus. "Perhaps the biggest myth related to SARS is that wearing a mask, like the ones seen on TV, is an effective means of preventing infection. With these masks, most of the air people breathe in is not being filtered through the mask but is coming in from the sides of the mask. To offer any reasonable protection, a mask must fit very well and should probably be taped on both sides."

« Last Edit: 07/05/2003 02:07:50 by NakedScientist »
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #8 on: 10/05/2003 21:46:14 »
Genomes of 2 strains of SARS sequenced :

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7397/999?etoc

includes links to the sequence data, freely available.

and here's the PDF of the paper in SCIENCE :

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/rapidpdf/1085953v1.pdf
« Last Edit: 10/05/2003 21:49:22 by NakedScientist »
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #9 on: 23/05/2003 12:28:34 »
This item appeared in the BMJ this week :

(Link http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7399/1110-a?etoc)

Chinese scientists must test wild animals to find the host of SARS
New York Scott Gottlieb

Researchers believe that the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in humans probably originated in an animal in southern China.

That was the conclusion drawn by a group of experts meeting at the New York Academy of Sciences to discuss the origins of SARS and the state of development of a vaccine or antiviral drug to help quell the virus.

SARS has killed 642 people and infected 7860 across the world. No one understands why SARS makes some people sicker than others and why some people seem to be more likely to spread it to others.

It could be linked to stress or to infection with something else as well as SARS, such as influenza or hepatitis, researchers said. Co-infection with other infections is known to worsen coronavirus infection in farm animals. The diseaseís long incubation periodóestimated to be two to 10 days, or even 14 daysómakes the virus perfect for travel. It gives infected individuals enough time to go elsewhere before they get sick.

Experts who examined the genetic map of the SARS virus say that although it is related to the three families of coronaviruses that cause respiratory and gastrointestinal disease in animals, it is different enough to make up its own, fourth family.

"I think it jumped from an animal, but we donít know which one," said Kathryn Holmes, a molecular biologist at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center who has studied coronaviruses extensively. "The question is how much change does there need to be for a virus to jump to a new host," she said.

Dr Holmes expressed optimism that the carrier animal could be found in Guangdong province, where the first SARS cases occurred last November. Animals such as bears, monkeys, and the endangered pangolin are sold in the markets there for food. Investigators will take blood from all the animals in that region and test the blood for the virus, she said. Dr Holmes said there are many ways the virus could have leapt from the animal population to humans, including handling or eating the animal or contamination from faecal waste.

As the SARS virus does not resemble any known coronaviruses, the virus is unlikely to have its origins in a domestic animal or any animals that have become important parts of commerce, such as cows, chickens, or pigs. Two human coronaviruses cause about 30% of common colds, but the viruses cause more important diseases in pigs, chickens, and other livestock. Many of the common coronaviruses found in these animals have already been identified.

Researchers believe that many coronaviruses exist in wild species of animals but remain unknown to scientists because nobody has had a reason to look for them.

Linda Saif, a researcher at Ohio State Universityís Agricultural Research and Development Center, agreed, saying that Chinese scientists should test wild animals as this particular coronavirus has not been seen in more common household animals such as cats, chickens, or pigs. Although scientists have not yet found the SARS virus in a particular animal, Professor Saif said they have derived valuable clues from studying other animal coronavirusesósome encouraging data and some more worrisome.

"Shipping fever," an illness that affects cattle when they travel from farm to feed lot, shows some parallels to patients with SARS whose illness may have been exacerbated by the stress of travel, she noted. In some animals, the coronavirus reappears and reinfects them, raising concerns about the future health of survivors of SARS.

Perhaps most alarming, Professor Saif said, was one recent experiment showing that pigs infected with both the coronavirus and flu became much sicker than those infected with just the coronavirus. With reference to the recent cases of avian flu in people in the Netherlands, she said: "You can imagine what would happen if both these viruses infected people together."

"The question remains, what was its host?" Dr Holmes said. "Was it a virus in a host that can affect both the host and humans, or was it a mutation that caused it to jump to humans and itís no longer able to infect its host?" she said. "In the first scenario, you still have a reservoir for the virus," Dr Holmes said. "In the latter scenario, you can contain it. But we just donít know."

The SARS virus comes from a family of viruses called RNA viruses, which are known to naturally undergo a high degree of mutation. Some researchers believe that as the SARS virus doesnít resemble any known coronavirus, it could have evolved separately.

Although researchers agree that finding the origin of SARS could hasten the development of an effective vaccine or antiviral drug, they say that promising treatments are already in development. Dr David Ho, president of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Cancer Center in New York described his early success using fusion inhibitors, a drug technique commonly associated with AIDS treatments, for targeting the SARS virus.

"Itís pretty clear from our initial set of experiments that this concept is as valid for SARS as has been noted for HIV," Dr Ho said. "Itís something that could potentially be developed quickly," he said.

Dr Frederick Hayden of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville said that antivirals could provide an important adjunct to the vaccines that researchers are trying to develop. "Protracted viral replication tells us that an antiviral can have considerable good in this case," he said.

On Saturday, another group of more than 40 experts convened by the World Health Organization ended the meeting with a message of hope, saying that early detection and isolation of cases had already brought outbreaks in Hanoi, Toronto, Singapore, and Hong Kong under control and should eventually contain the disease in China and Taiwan.
 

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Re: Any news on this new virus sweeping the world?
« Reply #9 on: 23/05/2003 12:28:34 »

 

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