A 65-year-old man is France's first casualty from a SARS-like coronavirus. The man's hospital roommate has also become very ill from the virus, which has now claimed 24 lives. The latest victim had been traveling in the Middle East, which is where the majority of cases originated. The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the virus Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, and has called it a global threat.
Mayo Clinic vaccine research specialist Gregory Poland, M.D., (PO lund) says right now very little is known about this novel, or new, virus other than it is distantly related to the 2003 SARS outbreak in Hong Kong, which eventually killed more than 750 people. Dr. Poland says a lot of detective work is underway to analyze and treat this new virus.
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Poland are available in the downloads.