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Coronavirus sets unwanted record as death toll surpasses SARS and MERS

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Wuhan china travel ban due to Coronavirus nCoV or SARS spread around the world. LakshmiPrasad Lucky | Dreamstime.com

The Wuhan Novel Coronavirus has claimed more claimed move lives than SARS.

As of Sunday, the coronavirus had claimed 906 lives in less than two months while SARS had claimed 774 lives.

Both viruses have similarities. The new coronavirus’ genetic sequence is 79.5% similar to SARS, that killed hundreds and devastated local economies in 2003.

SARS had infected 8,098 people word wide over a two year period while Coronavirus has decimated this numbers with more than 40,200 infected in 28 countries, mostly in China.

In general, SARS begins with a high fever (temperature greater than 100.4°F [>38.0°C]). Other symptoms may include headache, an overall feeling of discomfort, and body aches.

Some people also have mild respiratory symptoms at the outset. About 10 percent to 20 percent of patients have diarrhea.

After 2 to 7 days, SARS patients may develop a dry cough. Most patients develop pneumonia. The main way that SARS seems to spread is by close person-to-person contact. The virus that causes SARS is thought to be transmitted most readily by respiratory droplets (droplet spread) produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness that is new to humans. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to several other countries, including the United States. Most people infected with MERS-CoV developed severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Many of them have died.

All cases of MERS have been linked through travel to, or residence in, countries in and near the Arabian Peninsula. The largest known outbreak of MERS outside the Arabian Peninsula occurred in the Republic of Korea in 2015. The outbreak was associated with a traveler returning from the Arabian Peninsula.

MERS-CoV is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. However, like the SARS virus, MERS-CoV is most similar to coronaviruses found in bats. CDC is still learning about MERS.

Since April 2012 and as of 30 September 2019, 2 494 cases of MERS-CoV, including 912 deaths, have been reported by health authorities worldwide. CDC

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