As of February 2013, twelve cases of the novel coronavirus (NCoV) infection have been confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Initially identified in 2012, the new virus appears to have originated from the Middle East, specifically from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Pakistan. While there is limited information on the clinical impact and austerity of the disease, the latest confirmed case of the infection shows that NCov may be spread through human contact.
According to Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA), one of the most recent patients who was infected by the virus is a United Kingdom (U.K.) resident who had a close personal contact with someone previously infected by the virus. The patient has no recent travel history outside of the U.K. and is reported to have pre-existing medical conditions, which increases the patient's susceptibility of contracting respiratory infections. As of today, five people have died from the infection. Epidemiologists have linked three cases from one family living under one household, two of which have passed away. Based on these strong evidence, researchers have endorsed the possibility that novel coronavirus is spread through person-to-person contact.
Because there is such a small number of cases reported about the novel coronavirus, previous theories have indicated that the virus is spread through animal contact. While the exact etiology of the virus is still unknown, the Health Protection Agency still advises those who are affected by the disease to refrain contact from others and remain in isolation. Research and confirmed cases show that the virus is not highly contagious and the threat to the community remains low. However, healthcare workers and the public must remain vigilant about the signs and symptoms of the infection to prevent transmission and deleterious outcomes. Visit the World Health Organization website to learn more about the cases and updates about the novel coronavirus.
Health Protection Agency. Novel Coronavirus 2012. Retrieved from http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1317138119464
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Infections. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_02_13/en/index.htm