Death toll from SARS-like virus hits 27

The global death toll from a SARS-like virus has risen to 27, the World Health Organization said Wednesday after three patients died in hard-hit Saudi Arabia and another in France.

The new virus was last week renamed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS, reflecting the fact that the bulk of cases are in that region.

There have been 38 confirmed infections in Saudi Arabia, with 22 fatalities, according to WHO figures.

The UN health agency logs cases and deaths according to the country where the individual is thought to have caught the disease, with its Saudi toll including one individual who subsequently died in Britain.

Previously known as nCoV-EMC novel coronavirus, the disease is a cousin of, (SARS), which sparked a world health scare in 2003 when it lept from animals to humans in Asia and went on to kill some 800 people.

Like SARS, the appears to cause an infection deep in the lungs, with patients suffering from a temperature, cough and breathing difficulty. But it differs from SARS in that it also causes rapid .

Health officials have expressed concern about the high rate of fatalities compared to the number of cases, warning that the disease could spark a new global crisis if it acquires an ability to spread more easily.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Elderly woman dies of SARS-like virus in Saudi

May 26, 2013

An 81-year-old woman who had contracted a SARS-like coronavirus has died in Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll in the kingdom to 18, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

WHO revises up death toll from SARS-like virus

May 14, 2013

The World Health Organization on Tuesday revised up the death toll from the SARS-like coronavirus from 18 to 20 worldwide, but said the two additional fatalities in Saudi Arabia were old cases.

SARS-like virus claims new life in Saudi

May 20, 2013

A Saudi man who had contracted the coronavirus has died, raising the death toll in the kingdom from the SARS-like virus to 16, the health ministry announced on Monday on its Internet website.

Recommended for you

MSF warns Liberia Ebola 'progress' could be illusory

7 minutes ago

Global aid agency Doctors Without Borders urged caution Thursday over claims of a slowdown in infections in Ebola-hit Liberia, saying the apparent drop could be due to poor management of the sick.

Africans in New York complain of Ebola stigma

3 hours ago

Members of the west African community in New York complained Wednesday that their children were being bullied at school and businesses were losing money because of hysteria over Ebola.

Ebola expert says China at risk, seeks Japan aid

3 hours ago

A scientist who helped to discover the Ebola virus says he is concerned that the disease could spread to China given the large numbers of Chinese workers traveling to and from Africa.

Study: Young people more likely to survive Ebola

15 hours ago

A new study gives fresh knowledge about who survives Ebola and why. The report by 47 health workers treating patients in Sierra Leone in West Africa is the most detailed description yet of the medical aspects of the current ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.