[QODLink]
Middle East

Saudi Arabia reports more MERS virus deaths

Coronavirus has claimed three lives in Saudi Arabia, bringing total number of fatalities globally to 54.

Last Modified: 08 Sep 2013 11:56
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Saudi Arabia is the country worst hit by the coronavirus MERS, which has killed 52 people globally [AP]

Another three people have died in Saudi Arabia after contracting the MERS coronavirus, bringing the kingdom's total fatalities of the SARS-like virus to 47.

A Saudi man, aged 74, died in the western city of Medina after being in contact with an infected person, the health ministry said on Sunday on its website.

A 56-year-old foreigner, who worked in the health sector, also died in Medina, while another Saudi, aged 53, who suffered chronic diseases, died in Riyadh, the ministry added.

MERS: Who owns medical research?

The health authority also announced five new cases of infection of the coronavirus, including an 18-year-old Saudi man, and a three-year-old girl in Hafr al-Baten, in the northeast, who contracted the virus after being in contact with an infected person.

The three others are all Saudi nationals.

The virus has killed 54 people out of 108 confirmed cases of infections, the World Health Organisation said on its website on Saturday. Saudi Arabia is the country worst hit by MERS.

Experts are struggling to understand MERS - Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - for which there is still no vaccine and which has an extremely high fatality rate of more than 51 percent.

It is considered a cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

Like SARS, MERS is thought to have jumped from animals to humans, and it shares the former’s flu-like symptoms - but differs by also causing kidney failure.

According to research published last month in the American health journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, MERS was transmitted to humans from bats.

But a study in the Lancet found that the virus could have come from camels.

326

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeeraís new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.
Taipei has sided with Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters as relations with Beijing continue downward spiral.