Patient dies from coronavirus

A patient has died at a Birmingham hospital after contracting the Sars-like coronavirus, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said.

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Patient in Manchester 'travelled to Middle East'

Health protection workers have established that the patient being treated for novel coronavirus at a Manchester hospital had recently travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said.

Professor John Watson of the HPA said last week, "Our assessment is that the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains extremely low and the risk to travellers to the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries remains very low".

"People who develop severe respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, within ten days of returning from these countries should seek medical advice and mention which countries they have visited", he added.

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Birmingham hospital used 'stringent infection controls'

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham said last week the novel coronavirus patient's admission had been subject to "stringent infection controls".

The patient, who died Sunday morning in the hospital's critical care unit, is believed to have contracted the virus from a relative who is being treated for the condition at a Manchester hospital.

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What is the Sars-like coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are part of a family of RNA-containing viruses known to cause severe respiratory illnesses.

The Health Protection Agency said coronaviruses are causes of the common cold but can also include more severe illness, such as the virus responsible for Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

This new strain of coronavirus, known as novel coronavirus, was first identified in September 2012 in a patient who died from a severe respiratory infection in June 2012.

The virus has so far only been identified in a small number of cases of acute, serious respiratory illness who presented with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.

The World Health Organisation stressed it is not known how people become infected with this virus. However, it suggests avoiding close contact with anyone who shows symptoms of illness - coughing and sneezing - and maintaining good hand hygiene.

There is no vaccine currently available.

Victim believed to have contracted rare virus from a relative

A patient being treated for the rare coronavirus at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham has died.

The hospital released a statement saying the patient passed away on Sunday morning in the critical care unit.

The statement revealed the victim was already an outpatient at the hospital, undergoing treatment for a long-term, complex unrelated health condition and was particularly vulnerable to infections:

"The patient was immuno-compromised and is believed to have contracted the virus from a relative who is being treated for the condition in a Manchester hospital.

QEHB is working closely with the Health Protection Agency which is currently following up other household members and contacts of this case."

– Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Patient in Birmingham hospital after catching potentially deadly virus

A patient is in intensive care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after catching a potentially fatal virus, similar to the respiratory disease Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

The novel coronavirus bug is like pneumonia but can also cause kidney failure.

The patient is thought to have caught it from a relative who had travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan.

Only 11 people in the world have caught the bug, but five of those have died.

The patient, who has not been identified, is in a critical condition.

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Experts say risk to general population is 'very low'

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust say it is treating a patient for 'novel coronavirus' after they contracted the potentially deadly disease from a family member.

However, health experts say that the risk of the rare coronavirus to the general population "remains very low".

Professor John Watson, head of respiratory diseases at the HPA, said:

This case is a family member who was in close personal contact with the earlier case and who may have been at greater risk of acquiring an infection because of their underlying health condition.

To date, evidence of person-to-person transmission has been limited. Although this case provides strong evidence for person-to-person transmission, the risk of infection in most circumstances is still considered to be very low."

– Professor John Watson

The patient was initially given care in a single room on a ward, where infection controls were put in place.

Their condition deteriorated on Sunday and they were moved to an isolation room in critical care, where they are now described as "stable".

Person treated for potential 'deadly' virus in Birmingham

A relative of a patient who recently contracted a potentially deadly virus has also become infected with the disease and is being treated at a hospital in Birmingham, health experts have said.

On Monday, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said one person who had recently travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan was being treated in an intensive care unit at a Manchester hospital after becoming infected with a new type of coronavirus.

Now officials have confirmed that a relative of the patient has become infected and is being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

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