Hypochondriacs this one's for you. After discovering a virus from the same family as SARS last week, The World Health Organization has studied the bug, and says that we have nothing to worry about since the virus is basically SARS-lite and can't easily be passed along. "From the information available thus far, it appears that the novel coronavirus cannot be easily transmitted from person-to-person," said a statement from the WHO released on Friday. "Novel coronavirus" in non-science speak is the new, unnamed virus that's related to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and the common cold, which has so far claimed the lives of two Saudis and landed one Qatari man in a London hospital.
The statement confirms that the WHO hasn't recommended any travel restrictions for Saudi Arabia or Qatar (the two countries where the virus was found)—a sign that this virus isn't the thing of Contagion or Outbreak nightmares. And the BBC adds that the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said that the virus appears to be of zoonotic origin, meaning they believe the virus may have originated in animals and may behave differently than SARS. According to the WHO, they're currently testing and analyzing the virus and more information regarding the "novel cornonavirus" should be available in the next few days, and will continue "its support to its member states."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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