The UN agency is urging
health workers around the world to report any patient with acute respiratory infection who may have been exposed to the new virus. Reuters
reports that Saudi Arabia has taken safety measures to prevent disease spreading among more than 2 million Muslim pilgrims expected to gather next month in Mecca and Medina.
The new virus described
as a coronavirus also causes the deadly SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
"We've got things in place should things change, should the behavior of the virus change," spokesman Gregory Hartl said
of the new virus. “This is not SARS, it will not become SARS, it is not SARS-like.”
was first reported in Asia in February 2003, spreading to several countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. It infected about 8000 people and killed nearly 800 of them before the respiratory illness was contained.