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Killer Virus (SARS) Identified
ProMed ^ | 03-18-03

Posted on 03/18/2003 4:19:36 PM PST by Mother Abigail

Killer virus identified

A team from the Prince of Wales Hospital and Chinese University of Hong Kong have identified the virus that has caused the recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome worldwide, confirming that the current anti-viral treatment applied to patients has been the right choice. Identifying the virus as a member of the Paramyxoviridae family, Professor John Tam of the department of microbiology of the Chinese University said it was detected by electron microscopy. The finding, announced late last night, was further confirmed by a molecular technique that revealed the nucleic acid sequence of the virus.

Asked if the virus was curable, Tam reiterated that the finding last night had indicated that the current treatment applied to patients suffering from the syndrome, more commonly known as atypical pneumonia, had been the right choice. But he added that they still needed to monitor individual patients' reactions before they could conclude that the virus was curable.

Lo Wing-lok, Medical Association president and legislator, said the Paramyxoviridae family incorporated different viruses that could affect humans and, as such, further studies were needed to establish whether it was a new virus. Earlier it was revealed that at least 6 patients were responsible for spreading the pneumonia in Hong Kong. Health chief Yeoh Eng-kiong also said that a mainland professor who died in [Hong Kong] SAR on 4 Mar 2003 was a victim of the atypical pneumonia.

The new information from officials indicated the disease had been more widespread in the SAR than originally believed. Yeoh said the pneumonia and suspected cases had now been isolated into 6 "clusters". Yeoh again stressed the government was not hiding anything. He insisted there was no sign of an outbreak at the community level.

[This is the second identification of a paramyovirus-like organism from a patient with SARS (see ProMED-mail posting Severe acute respiratory syndrome - worldwide (06) 20030318.0677). The first identification was made by investigators in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg from specimens taken from a physician from Singapore who had treated some of the earlier cases seen in Singapore and was admitted to hospital in Frankfurt, Germany en route back to Singapore over the weekend. As mentioned in our earlier posting, it is important to confirm these findings and to identify a similar agent from other cases of SARS before it can be concluded that this agent is the cause of SARS.

That being said, this second identification of a paramxovirus-like organism from patients with SARS offers hope that the etiology of this outbreak may be identified soon. - Mod.MPP]


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: medvirus; paramyxoviridae; paramyxovirus; sars
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To: GirlShortstop
This new virus is naturally occurring.

We have had some recent experience with this subfamily of virus.

Hendra and Nipah are recent culprits in small outbreaks.

They are so new that they have been given their own genus (Henipavirus).

Hendra and Nipah are both zoonotic meaning they can transmit from animals to man - horses, pigs, bats etc. - Remember this is all very new stuff.

And it might well be that a mutant of the Paramyxoviridae family has broken out in South China spread to Hong Kong and is doing a bit of traveling..

Here is the correct classification of these bugs (as it stands now) Henipavirus becomes the fourth genus within the Paramyxovirinae subfamily of the Paramyxoviridae family. The other genera within the subfamily are Rubulavirus, Morbillivirus and Respirovirus.

Morbillivirus is measles

Rubulavirus is mumps
21 posted on 03/18/2003 5:10:11 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Mother Abigail
It may just be me but I got the feeling they have been trying to pin this whole situation on the American that died in Hong Kong.
22 posted on 03/18/2003 5:12:37 PM PST by CathyRyan
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To: CathyRyan
I didn't see it that way, Cathy, he's just the index case, that's all, and that's why he is referenced a lot. I thought it might be to draw attention AWAY from the likely Chinese origin...
23 posted on 03/18/2003 5:15:45 PM PST by Judith Anne (Yes, I CAN walk and chew gum. But...being blonde...)
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To: Mother Abigail
Many thanks for the info.
24 posted on 03/18/2003 5:17:43 PM PST by Celtjew Libertarian (No more will we pretend that our desire/For liberty is number-cold and has no fire.)
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To: CathyRyan
Sorry, Cathy and MA, I didn't mean to interrupt...
25 posted on 03/18/2003 5:17:45 PM PST by Judith Anne (Yes, I CAN walk and chew gum. But...being blonde...)
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To: blam
Could be,

If it is a new strain, then only clinical experience will tell us if it is responding. Or what course of treatment might be best.

As of now, it appears that we are using isolation and nursing barriers to ensure the safety of staff.
26 posted on 03/18/2003 5:17:57 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Mother Abigail
This new virus is naturally occurring.

Thank you M.A.   You did a great job outlining the virus; was sort of like a walk down bio class memory lane!  Obliged.  FReegards.
27 posted on 03/18/2003 5:18:31 PM PST by GirlShortstop
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To: Celtjew Libertarian
You are quite welcome
28 posted on 03/18/2003 5:19:14 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Mother Abigail
bump
29 posted on 03/18/2003 5:19:51 PM PST by tje
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To: Judith Anne
You are right. :)
30 posted on 03/18/2003 5:21:49 PM PST by CathyRyan
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To: Mother Abigail
> Yeoh again stressed the government was not hiding anything.

They have a saying in the UK:
Never believe a rumor until it's officially denied.

Anyhow, do we have confirmation of the identification from
any other sources yet?
31 posted on 03/18/2003 5:25:25 PM PST by Boundless
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To: aristeides
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd. each have one employee with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the South China Morning Post said, citing the wife of one of the sick employees.

Rob Saunders, a Cathay Pacific flight engineer and a father of two, is the first victim of the outbreak to be publicly identified, the newspaper said. His children have been temporarily withdrawn from school as a precaution and are healthy, it said.

Not good
32 posted on 03/18/2003 5:28:57 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Boundless; per loin
Waiting on per loin, he has been all over the bogus numbers.

They are admitting to 6 clusters, and > 120 cases
33 posted on 03/18/2003 5:33:40 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: CathyRyan
Sigh!! When the "Air Carriers" Agreed to accept Representatives of our Dominant Culture!
34 posted on 03/18/2003 5:39:16 PM PST by Doc On The Bay
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To: Doc On The Bay
You have lost me?
35 posted on 03/18/2003 5:41:35 PM PST by CathyRyan
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To: tje
We're sitting on nine,' CDC says.

TUESDAY, March 18

(HealthScoutNews) -- Health officials have narrowed to nine the number of people in the United States who might have contracted a mysterious and deadly global respiratory illness.

"Nine represents the suspect cases," Von Roebuck, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told HealthScout News Tuesday. "We're sitting on nine. That may change based on evaluation and looking at cases."


Meanwhile, housekeeping crews at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in New York City, site of an infectious disease conference attended by the Singapore doctor, have been reminded to use gloves when cleaning rooms and stripping beds.
The doctor left New York City on Friday to fly home to Singapore and was quarantined when he got to Frankfurt, according to news reports.

The general manager of the hotel said she did not feel there were any health dangers, even as the order for gloves was issued.
36 posted on 03/18/2003 5:44:32 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Mother Abigail
Those broad-spectrum anti-biotics and anti-virals can be just as brutal on the system as the disease itself. Still, it's nice to have an option.
37 posted on 03/18/2003 5:46:07 PM PST by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski
FIRST US CASE????

ALBUQUERQUE

New Mexico, U.S.A.

March 18, 2003

New Mexico's deputy state epidemiologist says it's "likely" that a patient at Albuquerque's Presbyterian Hospital has Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
The syndrome, called SARS, is a deadly mystery illness suspected to be a severe form of antibiotic-resistant pneumonia. It has spread to more than 300 patients in Asia, Europe and Canada.

Ron Voorhees, the deputy state epidemiologist, said the Presbyterian patient traveled to Hong Kong before coming down with symptoms.

"My feeling is this is fairly likely (to be a case of SARS) because the patient was in one of those areas," Voorhees said.

"We've sent samples to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and we're trying to bring in people to look into it as quickly as we can."
38 posted on 03/18/2003 5:50:48 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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To: Mother Abigail
First OFFICIAL US case. There are concerns about some people in Chicago, and we might not know what else is in the pipeline.

As for me, Toronto is closer than Albuquerque anyway.

39 posted on 03/18/2003 5:53:04 PM PST by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski
Hope some of those options are effective.

It is worrisome that we are not getting "patient is improving" updates from any of the hospitals.

Most info is of new cases
40 posted on 03/18/2003 5:54:33 PM PST by Mother Abigail
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