New SARS-like virus poses medical mystery
A Canadian health worker restocks surgical masks at a hospital in 2003 during the SARS epidemic.
September 24th, 2012
04:51 PM ET

New SARS-like virus poses medical mystery

Scientists are trying to unravel a medical mystery involving a new type of coronavirus, which come from that same large family of viruses that bring us the common cold but also brought us Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - better known as SARS - back in 2002.

So far, two patients have been identified as having been infected with this new virus: A 49-year-old male from Qatar who was transferred to the United Kingdom for treatment September 11 and is currently in critical condition, and a 60-year-old Saudi Arabian man who was treated in June and has since died.

While the Qatari man is known to have traveled to Saudi Arabia, officials at the World Health Organization do not believe there's a connection between the two.

However, it has been determined that they both had the same symptoms, severe respiratory illness-like pneumonia and kidney failure.  When samples from both patients were tested, researchers found they both were infected with the same virus.

This new virus was first identified and reported by Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki at the Virology Laboratory of Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  He had taken a sample from the Saudi patient's lungs before he succumbed to his illness.  After comparing it to other cold and flu viruses and the SARS virus, it became clear that he had found a new virus, according a WHO spokesman.

Zaki then had his sample verified by a leading coronavirus researcher, Dr. Ron Fouchier at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, according to his posting on the website for ProMed, the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases, on September 15.

Researchers in the UK also isolated the virus in the patient from Qatar and sent them to the Netherlands as well.  Fouchier studied the genetic makeup of both and found them to be 99.5% identical.

On a molecular level, this new coronovirus more closely resembles the SARS virus which sickened 8,000 people and killed 774 between 2002 and 2003, than a cold virus.

But it doesn't seem to behave like SARS did, says WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl.  These two men not only suffered from severe respiratory illness, they also had kidney failure, something that wasn't seen in SARS patients.  Also, none of the close contacts or health personnel caring for the patients has become infected yet, says Hartl, but they are still being watched.

"There is reason to be interested and even concerned" about this new coronavirus, says Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

But he notes that when the SARS epidemic was going on, many of those caring for patients were infected too.  The fact that this hasn't been seen with these cases so far is a good sign.  "There's no evidence yet that these viruses are readily transmissible," says Schaffner, who is also the past president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

There are still many unknowns for researchers to uncover.  Have there been other serious cases that haven't been reported yet?

"We don't know if this virus causes mild diseases also," says Hartl.  "We don't know if this is two out of two cases or two out of 2 million (which might include a lot of mild cases)." The WHO has alerted physicians around the world to keep an eye out for more cases.

Doctors also don't know the source of the infection.  A lot of disease detective work is required to further understand where these patients have been, may have eaten or any other behavior that might provide clues.  In 2002, the source of the outbreak was linked to a ferret-like animal called a civet cat, but researchers now believe a horseshoe bat may have been the original source.

So far, no travel restrictions have been issued by the WHO.  Those concerned about being infected can protect themselves by exercising proper hand-washing hygiene and cleaning surfaces that could harbor viruses.

soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Mary Jane

    More proof that Muslims are dirty people ruining the planet..

    September 24, 2012 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • terry

      Mary: loved your movie, but it seemed to upset some people...

      September 24, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
    • Moataz Soliman

      Mary, thank you for making me believe more that Islam is true: "You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allâh; but if you persevere patiently, and become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious) then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs (and that is from the great matters which you must hold on with all your efforts)" (Holy Quran: 3:186).

      September 24, 2012 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
    • Serge

      Wow Mary Jane! That might be the most racist thing I've ever heard!

      September 24, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      This is an idiotic statement meant to inflame people. Yes you have free speech but is it necessary to be hurtful? Please remember tolerance.....

      September 24, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • saveus all

      Mary Jane ..more proof America is not the greatest country but just another crap hole full of hate

      September 24, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • Malsi Kcuf

      Al-Qaeda probably engineered the virus in Saudi Arabia alongside its sympathizers in the radical Wahhabi government and then infected people intentionally.

      Muhammad would definitely be proud.

      Malsi Kcuf

      September 24, 2012 at 18:47 | Report abuse |
    • bertha

      You are just plain awful!

      September 24, 2012 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
    • Kurohain

      What, we're trying to get sick now?
      Oh and Malsi, I can tell what your name is backwards. You're not fooling anyone.

      September 24, 2012 at 19:20 | Report abuse |
    • Lixi

      Mary's right. Islam is filth and we let them into our countries with their intestinal diseases, with their developmental delays born from an inbreeding program. Just throw in some Ebola, Influenza, Meningitis and Aids and you have yourself a muslim buffet.

      September 24, 2012 at 19:36 | Report abuse |
    • Schmedly

      We should put all those i d i o t s protesting that ridiculous YouTube movie on a deserted island together with all the haters like Mary Jane and let them kill each other off so we can cleanse the human gene pool of s t u p i d people...

      September 24, 2012 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
    • mo

      mary jane , wow you are very educated. i am amazed with your comment. go on, one day you will wake up from your deep sleep...

      September 24, 2012 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • New Orleans

      Shame on you.

      btw Qatar sent a Delegation to post-Katrina New Orleans to support and encourage us.
      They left a check for TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS for Xavier University and Children's Hospital. (Xavier is a **Catholic** university, btw)

      I hope this man recovers.

      September 24, 2012 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      New Orleans: I had not heard of that. It is the sort of thing that should be told to people, especially those who rail against the evil muslims and their governments.

      September 24, 2012 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
    • George Beier

      Mary Jane - Take a good look in the mirror. Then change yourself. Or at least stop poisoning the web with your hate speech.

      September 24, 2012 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
    • Diane


      That comment you left needs to be removed as abusive. Shame on you.

      September 24, 2012 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
    • usa

      well these 2nd world countries have such poor health standards it's no surprise...

      September 24, 2012 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      what is does prove is the Arab's are inconsiderate a*holes. The guy is sick, rich enough to take a private plane to the UK endangering millions, all for free healthcare. What a piece of garbage, or typical Arab.

      September 25, 2012 at 00:42 | Report abuse |
    • HK

      Mary Jane,

      Your comment made me to think, that what kind of parents you've had or what kind of upbringing you have received for having such hatred within you. I feel sorry for you. You really narrowed your world.

      September 25, 2012 at 01:18 | Report abuse |
    • mehmet

      at least muslims dont sleep with dog

      September 25, 2012 at 05:07 | Report abuse |
    • kim

      don't play dumb. i see all of you nasty creatures too lazy to wash your damn hands before you eat your meals or before you feed your family. it doesn't matter the space you were born, the earth in all respects is like that of the human brain, you only use so much of it. think of all things possible if you were to uninsert head from asses and live humanity the way it was meant to be lived. when you think about how big the universe actually is and still is ever expanding, you should feel like a infantisimal spec on a much more grand of a scale... ah but i digress, you, humankind, are all sick disgustoids.

      September 25, 2012 at 05:28 | Report abuse |
    • stambo2001

      You do of course realize that muslims were bathing when the british and french were covering their stench with perfumes?

      September 25, 2012 at 06:56 | Report abuse |
    • WASP

      TO ALL POSTERS: "mary jane" is more than likely a pubestant male that is just regergiating the hate he hears mommy and daddy yell at the television. either that or a 30 year old still living under his mother's roof. 🙂
      "hate begets hate"

      September 25, 2012 at 07:17 | Report abuse |
    • OrangePekoe

      What a horrible thing to say. TWO people have been ID'd and that leads you to make such a nasty comment? There were lots more people who came down with SARS some years ago both in Asia and Canada and here. Would you say then that makes the Chinese or the Canadians or US dirty?

      I didn't think so.

      September 25, 2012 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      @ Moataz Soliman
      Its true Mary’s statement is rather baseless. There is no point in making things up when there is so much that is real to make fun of. Your post for example; Mary, thank you for making me believe more that Islam is true. This just goes to show how feeble minded religious types are. They need no real proof. They believe simple because they want to.

      September 25, 2012 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
    • Margaret

      I find the tone and content of these comments pathetic. The issues here have nothing to do with the religion of the patients. When SARS hit, no one asked what faith the original patients came from. The only important issues here are whether or not the new virus can be easily transmitted, whether or not it can be effectively treated, whether or not a vaccine can be developed. Beyond that, have some pity for the people who got it, and some appreciation that they have served as sentinels for all of us.

      September 25, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
    • cira22

      hey saveus all, Not everyone in America is full of hate. Please don't judge an entire country based on a few crazies. Just like I don't judge an entire country OR religion based on a few crazies either. It goes both ways.

      September 25, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • Dubhly

      @Serge No, no it is not, since it is NOT racist. There are far more then one racial stereotype that is muslim. They represent people from all races. So once again, it is not racist. You want to say culturist, or religiousist maybe, but not racist. sorry i hate it when people call things racist that have nothing what so ever to do with race

      September 25, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      The Troll punked you all again. HAHAHA.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • caveman

      A god exists, but is most likely not the kind you imagined. Abraham was said to have been the only one to have seen God, in physical form.. and he said, I quote from the bible, "Thou shalt know me by the marks upon my back"... now.. what were those marks? ..what did they represent or say? .. and why was Abraham not allowed to see God's face? .. To me, it sounds more likely that God's face did not want to be shown, because it was non-human in nature. You think about it psychologically and investigatively for a minute.. and you answer yourself the question, why would God not show his real face.. and the answer is clear, it was so that he would not scare Abraham for it was not humanoid-like. Oh, and remember all you religious nut-heads, the dinosaurs were here WAAYYY before us, and none of them carried around a bible or had a belief system. We are not permanant here.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
    • American

      Must be a Republican. Only Republicans can be that stupid and make those kind of comments.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • SchoolTeacher

      usa. 2nd world refers to the USSR not the Middle East

      September 25, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • SchoolTeacher

      caveman. If you consider that evidence and deduction – you have a lot to learn

      September 25, 2012 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
    • CHAP

      Where does Mary state she an American? Why do people have to be so racist towards other people who have a different view from them? Yes, I said you are racist Serge.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
    • There are good and bad wherever you go. You can not condem on race or religion for the worlds ills. I am an AMerican and proud of it and I do tolerate others beliefs

      There are good and bad wherever you go. You can not condem any race or religion for the worlds ills. Fanatics are not liked by there own kind. I am an American and proud of it and I do tolerate others beliefs

      September 25, 2012 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
    • Babe Ruth

      Mary Jane – Remember, not ALL Muslims are completely insane... just MOST... there are a few decent ones... but I wouldn't trust ANY of them... I like living...

      September 25, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      @mehmet, "at least muslims do sleep with dog" – I think it best that illiterate people like you, cease any attempt to insult anyone else. And if your statement was somehow fact, how do you quantify it being any better than when Arab (mostly muslim) have sex with their goats. Arab people are known to have sex with goats, because their women are watched and treated like slaves so there is no where else to turn. 28% of all Arabs admitted to sexual proclivity toward their animals.

      September 25, 2012 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
    • ChopSlop

      OrangePekoe – Yes... I would say, "The Chinese are dirty."

      September 25, 2012 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      @ OrangePekoe – you should educated yourself before you make stupid comments. Yes people in China and Canada came down with SARS, but what you fail to understand is that Vancouver and Toronto have enormous Chinese/Asian populations. 54% of the metro Vancouver population is made up of people who's first language is not english. I live in Vancouver and can say that Chinese people are disgusting. They spit on the sidewalks, never wash their hands after using the washrooms, and eat anything that moves, or doesn't move for that matter.

      September 25, 2012 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
  2. terry

    CNN: please proof read articles before posting.
    The World

    September 24, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The World

      Please capitalize your name, Terry.

      September 24, 2012 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      🙂 These three threads just made me smile. After the crap day I've had, that's pretty good.

      September 25, 2012 at 05:56 | Report abuse |
    • soking1223

      WASP, same thoughts about Mary Jane, but go a little further. He is also a FOX news groupie who had his cable tv cut off and is in withdrawal mode.

      September 25, 2012 at 07:39 | Report abuse |
    • ahayes

      Hi Terry, is there an error or typo in the article we should be aware of? The article was proof-read twice but things unfortunately are sometimes missed. Thanks.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
    • Aboujouj

      Posted on Well, the good thing is, he played with them, right? When my kids were llttie it was always an adventure finding the things they hid in the heating vents. I always wanted to take pottery classes, too but it was really humiliating seeing the primitive looking things I created. Oh yeah, I can use that for a craft fail post in the future I guess!I wonder if you're going to keep at it though?

      October 14, 2012 at 00:11 | Report abuse |
  3. Liz

    So basically two dudes who were already sick caught a bug and got sicker.

    Awesome. Let the fear mongering over nothing, yet again, begin.

    September 24, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • soking1223

      CNN.... someone has changed my post name...... really should be... sawthelight

      September 25, 2012 at 07:43 | Report abuse |
  4. Lagos

    CNN: Please do not call something "SARS-Like" because it is somewhat similar to SARS on a genetic level.
    The World

    September 24, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Liz

      CNN seems to be more overdramatic than a school full of teenagers. It could just as easily have been called a 'seasonal cold-like virus.'

      September 24, 2012 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
    • American Food

      I'm surprised they didn't say "New AIDS type SARS virus from Saudi Arabia sweeping through London starting with 2 people."

      September 24, 2012 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
    • Seldom Seen Mike

      It's similar to SARS...Did you read the article? It causes all the same symptoms of SARS plus kidney failure...so, it's SARS-like

      September 24, 2012 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
    • ahayes

      Hi Lagos, the virus is called SARS-like because it's from the same family of viruses as SARS and the common cold.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
  5. RocStar

    Mary, STFU. Thanks!

    September 24, 2012 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AgrippaMT

      Mary Jane is obviously one of our homegrown American style bigots and racists. No doubt she votes Republican too.

      September 24, 2012 at 18:47 | Report abuse |
    • cheeseroll

      And your ASSumptions that this "Mary Jane" is an American and a Republican is NOT bigotry?

      Do you even know the meaning of irony? Or are you too stupid to understand?

      September 25, 2012 at 06:26 | Report abuse |
  6. Sugar Shame

    I guess it's fall again and we need something to panic about. Thank you SARS. And thank you virus that really isn't like SARS at all, but we'll call it SARS-like to scare the f-ing bejesus out of stupid people.

    September 24, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marie Johnson


      September 24, 2012 at 20:53 | Report abuse |
    • Seldom Seen Mike

      But it is like SARS.

      Whats wrong with you dummies, don't you know how to read?

      September 24, 2012 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • ahayes

      Hi Sugar, the virus is called SARS-like because it's from the same family of viruses as SARS and the common cold.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:28 | Report abuse |
  7. Youknow

    Please go troll and slander somewhere else, or choose to make an actual contributory statement.
    Don't make the rest of us look like jerks because you want to be a racial extremist. Some people's children... >.<

    September 24, 2012 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. sm

    I feel like in addition to metal detectors they need to create something just as fast as walking through a detector that scans for communicable diseases at airports/seaports/etc. Otherwise said diseases could spread across continents and become un-containable or at least make the spread more easily traceable.

    September 24, 2012 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SchoolTeacher

      The current checks are mainly for safety on the flight. Imagine how long a whole series of medical tests would take. It would take days to get on a flight

      September 25, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
  9. Corey

    While I understand trying to save lives and all. But messing with these viruses I believe are going to have grave consequences. It is one of natures checks and balances. Throughout history as these things happen there are those that survive and those that don't. A form of natural selection. Just like the people they have found that are immune to Aids. They will pass on that gene and those offspring will survive. It's seems as soon as they find a cure the viruses just evolve into a stronger foe. It's really no different then messing with ecosystems like we have. Take for instance when wolves were eradicated in Wyoming the Elk population exploded resulting in dying forests due to the Elk eating all the saplings. Or you can look at fish hatcheries. Yes they produce fish but at what cost. Most hatchery born fish don't return to spawn. There by removing all the nutrients (nitrogen being the main one) they bring to the forests when they die which is also eaten by wild life which poops those nutrients out through out the forest. The point being there is no way to know what long term negative consequence this will have on us as a species.

    September 24, 2012 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Corey

      I forgot to add that when wolves were reintroduced those dying forests are starting to come back. Because the wolves keep the elk population in check. But if you look at us. There is nothing that we are allowing to keep us in check with nature. Aside from other animals it's these viruses that seem to keep us in check. Or at least they used to.

      September 24, 2012 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • allenwoll

      SOME of us were given brains, which we feel that we MUST use !

      September 24, 2012 at 19:57 | Report abuse |
    • WASP

      @corey: virus' and other pathogens do their job in taking down the weak and elderly in ones and twos; what is truly interesting is humans maintain a group mentality to congregate in areas in large numbers, now that's when virus' really do their work especially if they are easily passed one person to the next with a small incubation period. the black death was one major one everyone knows about, it almost wiped out most of early europe but as the population gets thinned out the virus loses it's hosts and dies itself. as long as humans maintain huge metropolitains disease will whip through as a flame on dry tinder and reduce our population.
      now the true scary thing is some of these bugs due to our use of antibiotics have become pretty fearsome........

      September 25, 2012 at 07:27 | Report abuse |
  10. doubt it

    Biological warfare...just seein' if it would work.. Guess it did. Too bad the Dr. that was messing around with it died...or maybe not.
    Hey!!!! maybe we could put in those planes that make chem trails then we could completely destroy humanity. Looks like that's where we are going.

    September 24, 2012 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Daniel

    I should have called in sick today. I feel like crap.

    September 24, 2012 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • deadspam

      Be sure to wipe.

      September 24, 2012 at 21:21 | Report abuse |
  12. Cooper

    Going to be more and more story like this.

    September 24, 2012 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. nameme

    When is the flu season ?

    September 24, 2012 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. i_know_everything

    wud have never happened under Bush's watch, juss saying

    September 24, 2012 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ShøW

      It DID happen under Bush.

      September 24, 2012 at 20:09 | Report abuse |
  15. Marty

    It's the will of Allah!

    September 24, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. nunya

    Well, maybe it was another atempt at a act of hostility toward the west.... glass time yet??

    September 24, 2012 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Me

    IIslam flu

    September 24, 2012 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 2/8

    Gee....something the scientific community can't explain....there's a surprise.

    September 24, 2012 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • allenwoll

      Take hike now !

      September 24, 2012 at 19:54 | Report abuse |
  19. coyote

    I don't know if I read this or dreamed it – I read that it came from the rats (the rodent ones I am not making a political statement) and all the garbage piled up in Libya – were these two men in Libya at all? Also could a rat from Libya have traveled by boat to both Qatar and Saudi A? it was in some obscure political you tube video I think in a comment under one of them.. 3 weeks ago. Because I goggled it then and could not see the connection to rats in any article. Good luck.

    September 24, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. allenwoll

    The article states -

    " Those concerned about being infected can protect themselves by exercising proper hand-washing hygiene and cleaning surfaces that could harbor viruses ".

    What about the surfaces of PARTICULATE MATTER suspended in the air ? ? ? . No one seems to ever consider that such matter is everywhere, doing its dirty jobs ! ! !

    Where are our scientists on THIS issue ? ? ? . SPEAK UP ! ! !

    September 24, 2012 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Renate

      This scientist for one is wondering why I should wash my hands if I were concerned about "being" infected! It's too late for that at this point. Hand washing will only protect others from me.

      Now if I were concerned about "becoming" infected, hand washing MIGHT help.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:00 | Report abuse |
  21. The Dude

    Every Muslim I have known has been a thoughtful, kind and generous person. Cant say the same about Christians..not by a long shot.

    September 24, 2012 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • New Orleans

      Well you don't get out much.

      I have Muslim friends (that like so many others, Katrina moving distanced from us) and acquaintances that are the Salt of the Earth, and I fear for their safety and peace of mind in all this Trouble....then there's the landlord that sexually assaulted my white niece in her home -and this was definitely a race-motivated as much as gender motivated attack. -They ME guys cheering at the 9-11 Attack in Progress on TV at a cafe in my mixed neighborhood, where we all came in off the street to watch, like they were a football game, also come to mind.

      September 24, 2012 at 20:50 | Report abuse |
  22. Dondi Cook

    Relax and breath deeply the tainted air... This must be the super virus I've been heareing so much about in the alternative Media... It iis man made by the United States government to decimate a large portion of the WORLD Population and is Obama's Brain-Child...

    September 24, 2012 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • deadspam

      Right. And I bet you have to remove both shoes to count to 24.

      (For those you who do not get the reference picture 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot...)

      September 24, 2012 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
  23. Dondi Cook

    After all, just imagine what could be done with that new Blimp Aircraft Carrier and a few thousand drones...

    September 24, 2012 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. John

    Hey MJ – you wrote – More proof that Muslims are dirty people ruining the planet..

    I see ... so good of you to have taken your time to inspect every single one of them for us all.

    September 24, 2012 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Klaark

    Seems every year or two the Public sets to voiding its bowels over a "new pandemic sweeping the nation!"

    Unless it's making the dead come back to life, I don't want to hear about it. The common cold kills a few 100k every year.

    September 24, 2012 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RBN

    We're so sar-y, uncle Albert!

    September 24, 2012 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. paganguy

    So let me get it straight.
    Either there is evolution in viruses like evolution in all living organisms or these deadly bugs were created by GOD to kill us in horrible fashion. Nice.

    September 24, 2012 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. jamessavik

    If you were working on a biological warfare program, how would you test your wares?
    The answer is a controlled release and follow its progress in the media.
    The object is not to wipe out large numbers of people. The economic impact alone can be huge. Stopping travel. Causing panic.

    One of these days it's not going to be a dry run.

    September 24, 2012 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jimh77

    The main problem. Viruses have been on earth from the beginning. The major issues are, we ues way too many antobiotics in everything, food, meats, chickens, veggies, everything we eat has antibiotics. Single celled viruses will stand the test of time and re-create themselves to survive. Everyone uses anti bacterial soap. And now we have anti viral viruses that have evolved to not die, but kill other forms that they come in contact with and it is survival of the fittest. And the virus wins. It has the most logged years.

    September 24, 2012 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bug_guy

      God, a cursory, very shallow knowledge of microbiology and virology is scary when they allow you to leave comments for public consumption.

      September 24, 2012 at 23:38 | Report abuse |
    • KC

      Do you even know the difference between bacteria and viruses? Antibiotics have nothing to do with viruses. Duh.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
  30. Homer10

    It's the hand of Allah smiting the Middle Ease for being so violent.

    September 24, 2012 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. John Smith

    Oh my God! Saudi Arabia! Muslims! This is bioterrorism!!!!

    September 24, 2012 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. martin

    in 1918 the "spanish" flu killed as much as 100 million people in a world that had 1/3 fewer people than now. they still don't know why it killed so many and why, unlike most flu epidemics, it killed men and women in their prime, 20s and 30s. this is why the WHO goes into a mild panic whenever something like this happens; they are afraid or a recurrence. to put it in perspective, that flu killed more people in a few weeks than the aids epidemic has killed in 25 years!

    September 25, 2012 at 00:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. moribundman

    Oh Captain Trips where art thou?

    September 25, 2012 at 00:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Mahhn

    OMG 2 people got sick! Its a "medical mystery", wonder if they can spread this and bring it up to the fake pandemic they tried to convince us of a couple years ago.

    September 25, 2012 at 00:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Jay Hobe Sound

    One might reasonably wonder if this SARS-like virus is a man-made virus that was released into the population by accident or was it released into the population for a sinister reason. It is very realistic to realize that the potential for a soft-weapon like a virus is both possible and plausible. Of course I just watched the movie 'Contagion' over the weekend on cable and now think I should get a surgical face mask to wear while running errands out in public... grrr.

    September 25, 2012 at 01:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thangtin

      Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and waentd to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

      October 14, 2012 at 00:25 | Report abuse |
  36. Geoff

    You don't see penguins having to deal with this issue of SARS. Maybe we should live among the penguins to find out how they do it.

    September 25, 2012 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Nora

    Ignorant people above that claim Muslims cause everything. Where are you in pre school. Open up your minds and Mary Jane Karama will get you one day or another.

    September 25, 2012 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Maxmaxwell

    Ahhh poor Mary, expresses her opinion in a supposedly free society and is slammed to the ground and stoned right here on CNN. My oh my!! We call ourselves tolerant?? hmmmm. Well if we care to look a moment at the Muslim end of things they do have this immense wealth. Instead of putting the money into things like sewers, roads, and fresh water systems, they have a ruling class, which educates their children in the finest schools, finest clothes finest cars, while the rest of the islamic world suffers. In fact the west is the one leading in inoculations in the arab world, as they still refuse to do it.
    At the very least the west has tried to bring water, sanitation and medicine to the East and other parts. What exactly has the arab nation done for itself? Ohhh indoor ski slopes, race cars and shopping malls, right and all the while the poor suffer.
    So tell me again how mary is off base in her opinion? Ohhhhh you mean she was on target just chose the wrong words. hmmm

    September 25, 2012 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • angryersmell

      It is a free society. Free speech all around. She's free to say what she wants; we're free to point out that what she said was stupid and/or rude and/or insensitive and/or wrong, etc, etc. She's free to defend her statement if she wants. Free, free, free! Buy the ticket; take the ride. That's how it works. Get used to it.

      September 25, 2012 at 07:41 | Report abuse |
  39. Whome

    Ah yes, more disease brought to our shores from overseas.

    September 25, 2012 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Jack

    A good pandemic is exactly what the world needs....something to wipe out 50-60% percent of the population. There's way too damn many people on this planet.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Demosthenes

    As I sit here reading comments, I am amazed out how narrow minded humanity has become. Every person on this earth has a right to their faith and their personal beliefs. Instead of brow beating and condemning one another – open your minds and eyes and learn from one another. Diseases do not care about race, they just want a place to thrive. Pray to whatever deity that you believe in that you are not the next victim of a killer disease.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Rick

    This article isn't about politics or religion ! It's about a virus that is going to be uncontrolled in the near future. What's the matter with you bloggers? Each time the scientists get close to a cure, the virus or disease changes. Find the source not the cure. It's like trying to stop a river. You can build a dam to control it. But if you can't stop it from raining, it will eventually overflow.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Frank

    They must have caught the virus from some animal, and its deadly form is not human->human transmissible. Bird flu is the same way, if you catch it from a bird its 75% fatal, where once it mutates to human->human form its fatality rate is similar to the normal flu. There are other examples, like the people who caught the rodent virus in Yellowstone last month, its 40% fatal but does not transfer between humans.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. FParana

    Viruses like this are really the only way the planet can be saved.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Assman

    The circle opens.
    We need help, the Poet reckoned.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Jeff Hoover

    Oh no! Stuxnet has crossed over from computers to humans!

    September 25, 2012 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. jonny

    I remember when I got the swine flu a few years back. That was the worst I've ever felt in my life. I hope the scientists get this contained soon. I don't want to anyone to go through what I did.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. waristheonlyway

    What about the Islam virus its a dirty filthy virus plaging the planet, soon it will be wiped out.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jack

    @Mehmet, you are absolutely right! Muslim do not sleep with dog or pig. Now, we know those two anilmals are part of your sacred religion along with Allah. That's o.k. you guys can sleep with underaged girls and boys....and have a dozen of wives. Make sure you keep them covered all the time, because they too ugly to see.

    September 25, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Really?

    really? all of you are getting into a debate about politics and religion? no matter how many good or bad people are left in this world, there will always be people like mary jane and the rest that actually have a heart. No need to fuss, just take it in, and leave it at that.

    September 25, 2012 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
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