Towards the middle of February, the online community was taken by storm by the news that a mysterious Sars-like virus had somehow made it all the way from the Middle East to the UK.
At that time, the country's Health Protection Agency agreed to share information about two patients that were being treated in Manchester and in Birmingham, respectively, following their being affected by this virus.
Recent news on this topic says that one of these two patients, i.e. the one hospitalized in Birmingham, passed away on Sunday as a result of various medical complications associated with his becoming exposed to the novel coronavirus.
Daily Mail reports that these two patients knew each other, and that the 39-year-old man who died on Sunday most likely caught the disease from the other patient, who happened to be a relative of his.
Interestingly enough, it seems that a third person belonging to the same family is now also undergoing treatment for said virus.
As was to be expected, the fact that all of these three patients were part and parcel of the same family translated into doctors' and health officials' beginning to wonder whether or not the virus can spread from one person to another.
By the looks of it, the 39-year-old man now referred to as the first victim that the coronavirus has made in the UK had been suffering from another health condition for quite some time prior to his death.
Thus, this underlying condition could have made him more susceptible to passing away because of the new disease he contracted from his relative.
“The patient was already an outpatient at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB), undergoing treatment for a long-term, complex unrelated health condition. The patient was immuno-compromized and is believed to have contracted the virus from a relative who is being treated for the condition in a Manchester hospital,” reads an official statement issued by the hospital in Birmingham.
Despite the fact that the three patients affected by the Sars-like virus were relatives, Professor John Watson wished to emphasize the fact that, “To date, evidence of person-to-person transmission has been limited. Although this case provides strong evidence for person to person transmission, the risk of infection in most circumstances is still considered to be very low.”
It is to be expected that more information on this topic will shortly follow.