Saudi Arabia says three more die from new virus

Saudi Arabia has reported that three more people have died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 24.

The Ministry of Health said Sunday the three deceased were among 38 infected in the kingdom with the respiratory virus called MERS.

It says two of the three whose deaths were reported Sunday were suffering from chronic diseases.

The World Health Organization said Saturday prior to the latest Saudi announcement that it was informed of 51 confirmed cases of the new virus since September and 30 cases were fatal.

The new virus is related to SARS, which killed some 800 people in a global epidemic in 2003, and belongs to a family of viruses that most often causes the common cold.

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