- Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter
- Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation in South Korea
- Militants kill 14 Algerian soldiers in ambush
- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
WHO: 2 more cases of new virus in Jordan
LONDON (AP) - International health officials have confirmed two more fatal cases of a mysterious respiratory virus in the Middle East.
The virus has so far sickened nine people and killed five of them. The new disease is a coronavirus related to SARS, which killed some 800 people in a global epidemic in 2003, and belongs to a family of viruses that most often causes the common cold.
The two cases date back to April and are part of a cluster of a dozen people, mostly health workers, who fell sick in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Zarqa, Jordan. Officials are investigating whether the 10 other people who grew sick in Zarqa also were infected and how the virus might have spread.
“It’s too early to say whether human-to-human transmission occurred or not, but we certainly can’t rule it out,” said WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl.
One of the Jordanian cases was a 40-year-old female. All of the other patients to date have been men. The new virus has so far been identified in patients from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Scientists haven’t found any links between the sporadic cases of the coronavirus so far, first detected in September. “We don’t know how the virus gets around and there are more questions than answers right now,” Hartl said.
Several of the patients sickened by the new coronavirus have had rapid kidney failure and others have suffered severe pneumonia and respiratory illnesses. The virus is most closely related to a bat virus and scientists are also considering whether bats or animals like camels or goats are a possible source of infection.
Scientists are also considering whether fruit contaminated by animal droppings may have spread the virus.
Still, not all of the cases had contact with animals and WHO said it was possible the virus was spread between humans in the Jordan hospital and in a cluster of cases in Saudi Arabia, where four members of the same family fell ill and two died.
WHO says the virus is probably more widespread than just the Middle East and recommended that countries test any people with unexplained pneumonia.
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- CHARLES: Holder's undermining of the law deserving of contempt
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- 'Deport Bieber' petition draws no comment from White House
- Critics rail against liberal bias for commencement speakers
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.