Written by Somma Lhamo, CNN
It was once called the “deadliest virus” known to man. How much worse can it get?
In the last four years, three new types of coronavirus, a coronavirus originating in the Arabian Peninsula, have been found in humans, all of which have the potential to be deadly.
Newer viruses appear as gray-ish, peanut-sized greenish-brown colored blotches. Few humans have symptoms related to the disease, which initially caused severe coughing and body aches, but more than 60 deaths have been reported.
The new variant (also known as Omicron or v201) is the most deadly and deadliest of the new strains. Experts fear that it will impact the effectiveness of key drugs used to treat the vulnerable patients who need them.
Covidien’s new outpatient surgery suite. CNN
The World Health Organization advises that people not spread the virus to their loved ones, as the disease can’t be transmitted between people. In the latest cases, symptoms were minimal, and almost all of the infected lived in Saudi Arabia and had recently visited hospitals or clinics.
The virus can be sexually transmitted and can be passed from mother to child, although fortunately the incubation period is short, generally lasting under a week. In the majority of cases, infection will show no symptoms.
Covidien Cebu’s Regional Medical Director Dr. William O’Brien said at the recent WHO-ADO Congress, “As this virus was not reported for over 40 years, it’s not been adequately explored. This new variant is more potent, it’s more dangerous and it’s readily transmitable to healthcare workers.”
CNN’s Andy Greenberg talks to Dr. William Schaffner about the many consequences of drug shortages.