Hong Kong Warns of New Coronavirus

new coronavirus is on the loose, and Hong Kong and world health authorities are taking notice. The virus has killed 11 of the 17 people known to have contracted it, a death rate much higher than that of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Unlike SARS, which affected the respiratory system, this new virus, dubbed “novel coronavirus,” attacks multiple organs. The most likely source of this new disease is bats, though monkeys, pigs, civet cats and even rabbits can also harbor it. To be prepared, Hong Kong officials have started conducting simulations in the event of an outbreak, including quarantines and treatment protocols. The new potential outbreak seems to be centered in the Middle East, with several cases linked to travelers who visited Qatar, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Society will continue to monitor this situation and will keep members abreast of any new information.

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