S'pore hospitals alerted on new virus related to Sars

S'pore hospitals alerted on new virus related to Sars

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been alerted to an unknown virus related to the deadly Sars infection and will be monitoring the situation closely.

The alert was issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after it confirmed two cases linked to the coronavirus, which can cause severe pneumonia and acute kidney failure.

The United Nations health body said on Sunday that there was no evidence to suggest that the cases - reported three months apart - were linked, or that there was an ongoing transmission of the virus.

A ministry spokesman said yesterday that all hospitals here have been notified of the virus and that there was no need for any additional measures until more information was available.

The WHO alert follows the case of a Qatari man who was admitted to hospital on Sept 7 for acute respiratory infection and kidney failure. He is still in critical condition.

Earlier this year, a Saudi Arabian national died from the same virus, WHO said.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that include those causing the common cold apart from those that trigger severe conditions such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome.

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