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The news today has been of new cases of influenza-like illness, related to corona virus infection, as well as the first known death from this severe disease, in Japan, based on blood samples. The World Health Organization is issuing an alert for this novel corona virus (AIV) that can infect humans, not just pigs.

If you wish to read more about the recent outbreak of viral infections linked to the cat-sized bug, but do not want to buy the all-too-common knock-off publications, here are the printed forms you should consider using (with details below).

• IF YOU’RE IN THE U.S.: The CDC published an overview of the origins and spread of this lethal cat-sized virus, the newest human outbreak of corona virus, which, as you’ll read, doesn’t do much but make people sick, and possibly cause death. Anyone can become infected, and public health authorities are urging caution until more is known about this illness, which is unusual in the animal world, was first seen in 1947, and is not otherwise known to cause human illness or deaths. For more information and how you can protect yourself: The CDC’s Pan-feline Coronavirus FAQ.

• IF YOU’RE AWAY FROM THE U.S.: The WHO releases updates on its investigation of the foreign origin of the first known human infection: a man who died recently in Japan, just five months after contracting the illness. A man from Indonesia and another person from Laos were also infected, but are now well enough to be treated, and aren’t likely to transmit the infection, according to the report. While the original cases were in Japan, investigators are looking into the possibility that the virus is widespread elsewhere. More information and how you can protect yourself from the contagion: The WHO’s Coronavirus FAQ.

• IF YOU’RE IN EUROPE: Have you spotted a monster like AIV on the streets of Vienna? Many experts think this could be an excellent way to look for additional cases that might surface in European countries, and there’s no need to buy any knock-off publications, as Oxford University specialists working on the project explain. For more information and how you can protect yourself from the contagion: The WHO’s Coronavirus FAQ.

• IF YOU’RE AWAY FROM EUROPE: The virus can be easily spread between humans, and while some of the viruses are infectious, the coronavirus may not be — and health authorities are still trying to establish its true nature. CDC researchers are also on the hunt for evidence that this virus is not the cause of the illness — so far, that remains a distinct possibility. If you want more information and how you can protect yourself from the coronavirus: The WHO’s Coronavirus FAQ.

• IF YOU’RE IN EUROPE: What more can you ask for than people die because of this deadly strain of the flu? Experts say a rare, lethal, deadly virus like AIV is a potential cause of the world’s most debilitating illnesses, and based on the 11 global outbreaks reported since 1945, we’re not out of the woods yet, even if this recent turn toward human contamination is unprecedented. We’re also still working to isolate the animal source of the infection — testing at zoos and using people to speculate about what viruses might come from a Russian fur-trading flop — but while the officials are taking all possible action, there’s no way to predict how these viruses will act in the wild — or what the impact of their dispersal will be on humans. We continue to be concerned, and are asking what you can do, and wondering, frankly, who we should be counting on: The WHO’s Coronavirus FAQ.


WTF?: “What is the WHO doing about this?” This is our next question, and as we’ve already pointed out, it’s even possible that these infections could come from other sources. What new infectious agent could this have, and could it be just around the corner? There are all sorts of things you can ask right now, here.

• Free online: The National Institutes of Health has an extremely extensive web resource available, and it can’t possibly contain all of the valuable information you need to know about the disease. But our best bet: This free tool, where you can browse the database on file-shared websites.