The Netherlands Air Accident Investigation Bureau reported on Thursday that 13 people had contracted the new strain of the coronavirus. The passengers were exposed to the virus on aircrafts originating from two cities in South Africa before flying to the Netherlands. The first flight was from Durban to Amsterdam and the second from Johannesburg to Amsterdam on May 15.
The CAPABA Incident File said the 13 confirmed cases had been identified from two closed hospitals in Rotterdam and Houten, and that one of them had died. The virus had triggered other similar cases in the Netherlands, South Africa and Germany over the last few months.
According to the WHO, the new strain of coronavirus is distinct from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has caused mild symptoms in people in the Middle East. The two most prominent strains of this coronavirus, called the Omicron and the Cantini, have produced sickness similar to that seen in MERS but tend to only affect people over 60, the WHO says.
Coronaviruses do not usually spread between people. However, because the symptoms of MERS, such as severe respiratory illness, include a high fever, and the virus is believed to mutate almost daily, new coronaviruses may emerge from time to time.
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