Quantcast
Connect with us

SARS-like virus seems to cause deadly lung infection

Published

on

A new and deadly virus that has killed 11 of the 17 patients treated for it in the Middle East and Britain appears to cause an infection deep in the lungs, researchers said.

Six research monkeys infected with novel human coronavirus were found to quickly develop pneumonia, according to a letter by National Institutes of Health experts in the New England Journal of Medicine.

ADVERTISEMENT

After being exposed to samples of the virus, the rhesus macaques fell ill within 24 hours, with symptoms including elevated temperature, lack of appetite, coughing and fast breathing.

The macaques’ illnesses appeared to last a few days before clinical symptoms went away. After euthanizing the monkeys, scientists found bright red lesions and darker purple areas of pulmonary inflammation in their lungs.

“We actually see that it replicates deep down in the lungs of the monkeys, which potentially could explain the disease in humans better,” researcher Vincent Munster of the NIH/National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana told AFP in a phone interview on Wednesday.

“This kind of explains why this virus potentially could be fatal. If it replicates deep down in the lungs, eventually it could destroy the lungs’ ability to take up oxygen and eventually cause severe disease,” Munster added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kidney failure has been seen in people who have died of the disease, which was first detected last year.

The animal research is a “first step toward getting to know what the virus does in humans” and should help experts narrow down vaccine strategies and antiviral options for intervention, he told AFP.

The letter to the New England Journal of Medicine is the first to describe animal research on the virus. Previous attempts to study it in hamsters were of little use, Munster said.

ADVERTISEMENT

But many questions remain about the virus, which seems to resemble Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) — which erupted in Southeast Asia a decade ago — and bird flu in the way it affects the lungs.

It is formally called hCoV-EMC/2012, which stands for human coronavirus-Erasmus Medical Centre, after the Dutch health institution that identified it.

The virus sample provided to researchers at the Rocky Mountain lab by Erasmus for the monkey research did not appear to cause the severe type of disease that has been seen in humans, Munster said.

ADVERTISEMENT

That could indicate that there are more mild cases in circulation among humans, or it could reflect a difference in the way primates and humans react to the infection.

Current research has been limited to studying cases in people who have been hospitalized with severe illness.

The World Health Organization reported in late March that a 73-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates had become the 11th fatality from novel coronavirus. The WHO has documented a total of 17 cases globally.

ADVERTISEMENT

Also last month, scientists reported in Nature magazine that the virus appears to infect the body via a docking point in lung cells, and suggested bats may be a natural reservoir for it.

Researchers believe the virus can be transmitted from human to human, though such occurrences appear to be uncommon.

It remains unknown whether the disease is truly rare and acute, or if it may be more abundant but mild so as to escape detection most of the time.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump goes after Fox News’ Chris Wallace after Shep Smith departure

Published

on

President Donald Trump appears to be waging his own war against Fox News hosts that report the factual news and not opinions.

Friday, longtime Fox newsman Shep Smith was officially released from his contract, at his request and fellow Fox staffers are warning it's only the beginning. But now, it seems the president is seeing his sights on ridding the network of anyone who doesn't parrot his policies, politics, talking points or dares to fact-check him.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Robert Reich walks through all the ways Trump is selling America to foreign powers for his own personal profit

Published

on

Notorious class warrior Robert Reich wrote a sharp attack of President Donald Trump for his international policies that are doing nothing more than scoring him personal cash and power.

Writing for The Guardian, Reich called Trump "the most xenophobic and isolationist American president in modern history," saying that the president has been "selling America to foreign powers for his own personal benefit."

While Trump promised during the 2016 election that he would "bring troops home," it was likely assumed that Trump meant the decades-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The work on the ground in Syria was mostly being done by Kurdish allies and not American soldiers. The number of troops on the ground in Syria, prior to Turkey beginning their bombing campaign, was relatively low.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Fox News staff warns of an ‘exodus’ as consequence of Shep Smith resignation

Published

on

Fox Newsman Shep Smith had been working on splitting from Fox News for some time, according to a statement he released Friday. That moment finally came this week when he unexpectedly announced he was leaving the network.

As CNN reported Smith's departure is only the beginning.

"It feels like death in the news division," said one senior Fox employee. The source explained that many staffers were "shocked" at the news, and some were crying. "At least we had him."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image