SARS-like virus baffles UK officials

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iol scitech oct 17 virus AP 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.

London - British officials have found the world's 10th known case of a new coronavirus, a mysterious disease related to SARS and first identified last year.

The patient, a UK resident who had been in the Middle East and Pakistan, is in the intensive care unit of a Manchester hospital, according to a statement on Monday from Britain's Health Protection Agency.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that are behind ailments including the common cold and SARS. SARS killed 800 people in a global epidemic in 2003.

In past cases, patients' symptoms have included acute breathing problems and kidney failure.

There is no proof the virus spreads easily between humans, but experts suspect humans can catch it from animals such as bats or camels.

All the previous cases have had links to the Middle East, but last year, the World Health Organisation said the virus was probably more widespread.

It recommended countries test anyone with unexplained pneumonia for the virus. - Sapa-AP

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