The World Health Organization Counts 15 Cases of Novel Coronavirus

Published by March 15, 2013

World Health Organization Virus AlertEmergency medical benefits in travel insurance policies can be valuable for travelers when unexpected symptoms arise on a trip, especially when new cases of viruses are reported by health organizations.

According to the World Health Organization, 15 cases of a new SARS-like novel coronavirus have been reported. The first identified case occurred in Jordan last September, and the latest case was recently reported by the Saudi health ministry.

Like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), this virus has been known to cause pneumonia-like symptoms, fevers and coughs, and has been the cause of nine deaths to date. However, WHO experts say the virus is hard to contract and doesn’t typically spread from person to person the way some other coronaviruses do.

While travelers shouldn’t be particularly concerned with contracting the disease while traveling abroad, there is a chance the virus could spread to the United States due to the volume of global travel here. Cases have also been reported in the United Kingdom.

Health organizations look for abnormal patterns within individuals displaying severe respiratory symptoms to determine if there is a diagnosis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working closely with the World Health Organization and will report any new cases.

Travelers can stay informed with the most up-to-date world health information by visiting the World Health Organization website here.