Alert over Middle Eastern coronavirus

A potentially fatal novel coronavirus should be suspected in travellers with respiratory symptoms returning from Middle Eastern countries, an Australian virologist says.

The 50% mortality rates seen to date with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are a cause for concern, according to Associate Professor Ian Mackay of the Clinical Medical Virology Centre at the University of Queensland, although the infection has not yet threatened to become a pandemic.

Six deaths were reported from the infection last week,