This confirms previous suspicions, although it is important to note that there is no evidence of “sustained” transmission , which means there h
as been no cases so far where a person infected by one person, has gone on to infect more people.
So far there has been 34 confirmed cases of the new strain, which is similar to SARS. Most cases have been in Saudi, and and the symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. It carries a high risk of serous life threatening complications such as pneumonia and kidney failure, although currently it is thought to mainly affect people who are already ill or have a weakened immune system.
The virus is similar to SARS, although it appears more deadly as the death rate so far has been around 52%. There could of course be cases that have gone unreported where people have survived, so hopefully the real mortality rate is lower.
The good news is it seems to be far less contagious than SARS.
Currently the treatment options are limited and there is no vaccine as yet.
Current estimates are that the risk of contracting it in the UK, is low but visitors to Saudi, especially over Hajj should look out for symptoms.
(With thanks to NHS news )