SARS-like virus no cause for concern: China

SARS-like virus no cause for concern: ChinaBeijing, Sep 28 - Chinese health authorities have tried to ease public concerns after two people in the Middle East were stricken by an illness resembling SARS.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Monday issued a global alert after a Qatari man suffered from acute respiratory problems following his return from Saudi Arabia.

People do not need to panic given because the previously unknown virus still needs probe, and it has not spread widely, the People's Daily Friday quoted the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as saying.

The WHO said Monday that a 49-year-old Qatari national has been reported to be suffering from acute respiratory problems and renal failure after returning from Saudi Arabia.

The British health protection agency conducted tests that confirmed the presence of a novel coronavirus, which earlier this year killed a 60-year-old Saudi national.

"The new coronavirus is different from the one that triggered SARS but it can be as severe and as deadly," Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist at the CDC, told the daily.

An outbreak of SARS between November 2002 and July 2003 killed some 900 people worldwide and infected more than 8,000 people, the WHO said.(IANS)