Written by By Staff Writer
Conrad S. Kampinos, CNN Milan, Italy Written by Staff Writer
Almost two years after the first case of coronavirus, or SARS, was reported in western Europe, what is now the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus is in the news again after 20-year-old English man Peter Edward Smith, originally from Saudi Arabia, died on February 11 after developing multi-organ failure following a visit to Mecca.
The airport receptionist was the third man in two weeks to fall ill with severe pneumonia brought on by coronavirus, and German health authorities have taken extra precautions to protect travelers coming into the country.
Nick Pisa, associate director at consultancy firm Bell Pottinger , says the recent round of scares have made many people ask what could possibly go wrong and is advising clients to keep current on the latest information.
"The key issue to watch is what role the SARS coronavirus is spreading in Europe -- in the UK it is suspected at 42 people were infected," he said.
"But not knowing for sure if cases will continue to increase, and if so why, might be a cause for concern."
According to Bell Pottinger's director of health and safety services, Nigel Watson, it is not only travelers being advised but also local authorities and medical experts too.
"There is a bit of schizophrenia at the moment," he told CNN. "On the one hand we have a global agenda with regards to SARS and current trends in health, but on the other hand we have big problems in the Middle East which are going unaddressed."