(Reuters) – A new virus belonging to the same family as the SARS virus that killed 800 people in 2002 has been identified in Britain in a man who had recently been in Saudi Arabia, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Sunday. More
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The SARS coronavirus, sometimes shortened to SARS-CoV, is the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). On April 16, 2003, following the outbreak of SARS in Asia and secondary cases elsewhere in the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a press release stating that the coronavirus identified by a number of laboratories was the official cause of SARS. Samples of the virus are being held in laboratories in New York, San Francisco, Manila, Hong Kong, and Toronto.
On April 12, 2003, scientists working at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia finished mapping thegenetic sequence of a coronavirus believed to be linked to SARS. The team was led by Dr. Marco Marra and worked in collaboration with theBritish Columbia Centre for Disease Control and the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba, using samples from infected patients in Toronto. The map, hailed by the WHO as an important step forward in fighting SARS, is shared with scientists worldwide via the GSC website (see below).
The sequence of the SARS coronavirus has since been confirmed by other independent groups. More
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