Chief Medical Officer issues health alert after reports of new respiratory illness

A new respiratory illness, similar to 2002’s globally spread Sars virus, has been identified in a man being treated in Britain. The 49-year-old was transferred to a London hospital by air ambulance from Qatar and is the second confirmed case of coronavirus.

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has issued an alert using Central Alert System (CAS) to NHS health professionals advising them to look out for symptoms in people who may have visited the Middle East.

A Department for Health spokesperson said: ‘We have no evidence of any other reported cases. Our priority is to ensure patients and staff are safe. We are working closely with the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and healthcare professionals whilst further investigations are carried out.’

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