(NEW YORK) — Though it has caused 41 deaths in 77 confirmed cases, the Middle East respiratory-syndrome coronavirus does not pose a global threat yet, according to a new study in the Lancet.
BBC News reports that a team at the Pasteur Institute in Paris tried to determine how many people an infected person would pass the virus to on average. Their analysis showed that the virus’s “basic reproduction value” was not exceptionally high. An infected person would infect 0.69 other people on average, meaning that three infected patients would only pass the virus on to two others.
Most of the infections have come from an animal source, but there have been confirmed instances of it spreading between people.
Prof Arnaud Fontanet told the BBC that even though the virus does not yet pose a global threat, the world should not rest easy.
“My concern is that people read this and not worry about it, but the opposite is true. This is the perfect time to identify the animal host and stop it.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
Tal Kopan and Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Jill Disis, CNN
AJ Willingham, CNN