Death toll from SARS-like virus rises to 30

The global death toll from a SARS-like virus has risen to 30, the World Health Organization said Friday after three people died of the illness in Saudi Arabia, which is bearing the brunt of the outbreak.

WHO spokesman Glenn Thomas told reporters that the number was raised from 27 after Saudi authorities confirmed the deaths of the three, who had previously been reported to the WHO as suffering from the disease.

In addition, Thomas said, a new case has been recorded in Saudi Arabia, lifting the global total to 50, including the fatalities.

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

There have now been 39 confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia, 25 of them fatal, 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 , 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

Death toll from SARS-like virus hits 27

May 29, 2013

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.

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.

Recommended for you

Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

6 hours ago

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

6 hours ago

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

18 hours ago

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

User comments