Two studies published on Thursday reinforce the likelihood that a coronavirus is responsible for a world SARS epidemic, but US health authorities warned that more proof was needed to firmly identify a culprit.

One of the studies in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that “a novel coronavirus is associated with this outbreak” of the virulent new pneumonia strain known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

One of the research teams even proposed naming the coronavirus “Urbani,” for Carlo Urbani, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Hanoi-based physician who contracted SARS and died in Bangkok on March 29. Urbani had tested the world’s first known first SARS victim in Vietnam and alerted the scientific community to a serious new form of pneumonia afoot.
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