Saudi records two new deaths from MERS

A Saudi man and a woman have died from the MERS virus, raising the death toll from the SARS-like infection in the kingdom to 36, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Three others infected with the same virus, two in Eastern Province and one in Riyadh, have been treated, the ministry said on its website.

It said 62 people have been infected with the virus in the kingdom so far, down from a previous figure of 66.

The ministry did not clarify why it had lowered the number of reported cases of the disease, dubbed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

It said the latest victims were a 75-year-old man in the eastern region of Al-Ahsaa, where an outbreak began in a in April, and a 63-year-old woman in Riyadh, but did not say when they had died.

Saudi Arabia recorded its first MERS death in June 2012.

The latest deaths bring to 42 the number of people to have died from the virus worldwide to date.

The virus is a member of the coronavirus family, which includes the pathogen that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

SARS sparked global panic in 2003 after it jumped to humans from animals in Asia and killed some 800 people.

Like SARS, MERS appears to cause a , with patients suffering from fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. But it differs in that it also causes rapid .

While most of the cases have been concentrated in Saudi Arabia, the MERS virus has also spread to neighbouring Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Cases have also been found in France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Britain, although most of these patients had been transferred for care from the Middle East or had travelled to the Middle East and become ill after they returned, the World Health Organisation said.

Related Stories

Saudi declares new death from MERS virus

date Jun 24, 2013

A Saudi man has died from the MERS virus, bringing the kingdom's death toll from the SARS-like infection to 34, the ministry of health said on Monday.

New Saudi death from MERS virus

date Jun 06, 2013

The Saudi health ministry on Thursday announced the death of one of its citizens in the eastern region of Al-Ahsaa after he contracted MERS, a SARS-like virus.

Recommended for you

Blue Bell Creameries issues recall of all products

date 2 hours ago

Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries issued a voluntary recall Monday night for all of its products on the market after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially ...

Bird flu takes biggest toll yet as virus hits chicken farms

date 3 hours ago

Poultry producers and scientists have been hoping warmer weather would knock down a virulent strain of bird flu that has hammered the Midwest, but the virus recently took its biggest toll yet, hitting a farm in Iowa that ...

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.