Khalid Hussain was the first person from Britain who died from the new SARS-type virus in late February. Hussain was just 38 and died at a hospital in Birmingham, England after his father infected him. His father had just returned from a trip to Mecca, when Hussain become sick.
The symptoms of the SARS-like coronavirus are shortness of breath, a strong cough and a fever. Those symptoms are similar to a common cold. Shortly afterwards, breathing becomes difficult and the lips on the person start to turn blue.
Some medical experts believe the virus started in the Middle East. Antibiotics cannot help those suffering from the virus. Thus far, six people have been killed by the coronavirus worldwide.
Hussain was the first to die in the UK and his death has put the Health Protection Agency in the country on high alert.
Emergency room personnel and doctors have been told to take additional blood samples if the patient has recently visited the Middle East or Pakistan.
Public health laboratories across Britain have started working round the clock attempting to find the genetic fingerprint of the new virus. Scientists at Holland’s Rotterdam University are examining swabs that had been taken at the beginning of the outbreak more than eight months ago.
Researchers fear a worldwide outbreak could one day take place but say that could be years away. However, they warn that vaccines need to be developed and stockpiled along with antiviral drugs that can fight the new strains that they see emerging.