MERS virus claims two more lives in Saudi Arabia

September 6, 2013

Two women have died of the coronavirus MERS in Saudi Arabia, the health ministry said on Friday, bringing the total number of fatalities in the kingdom to 44.

The victims were identified as a 41-year-old expat who was working in the health sector in Riyadh and a 79-year-old Saudi who suffered from chronic illnesses and who came into contact with a patient stricken by the virus in the northeastern city of Hafr al-Baten.

Saudi Arabia is the country worst hit by MERS, which has killed 50 people globally, according to a statement published by the World Health Organisation on August 30.

Experts are struggling to understand MERS—Middle East Respiratory Syndrome—for which there is still no vaccine and which has an extremely high 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 this month in the American health journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, MERS was transmitted to humans from bats. But a study in the Lancet found the virus could have come from camels.

Explore further: Saudi man dies of MERS virus: ministry

Related Stories

Saudi man dies of MERS virus: ministry

July 28, 2013

A Saudi man has died of the coronavirus MERS and another has contracted the virus, the health ministry said on Saturday, bringing the kingdom's deaths from the virus to 39.

Saudi man dies of MERS virus: ministry

August 25, 2013

A Saudi man has died of the coronavirus MERS, bringing the kingdom's death toll from the SARS-like virus to 41, while two new cases were registered, the government said Sunday.

Saudi man dies of MERS virus

August 28, 2013

A Saudi man has died of the coronavirus MERS, bringing the kingdom's death toll from the SARS-like virus to 42, health authorities said Wednesday, adding a new case was registered.

Qatar announces its first MERS death

September 4, 2013

A woman has died in Qatar after contracting the MERS coronavirus, becoming the first recorded fatality from the SARS-like virus in the Gulf state, local press reported on Wednesday.

Recommended for you

In sub-Saharan Africa, cancer can be an infectious disease

August 26, 2016

In 1963, Irish surgeon Denis Parson Burkitt airmailed samples of an unusual jaw tumor found in Ugandan children to his colleague, Anthony Epstein, at Middlesex Hospital in London. Epstein, an expert in chicken viruses and ...

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

August 25, 2016

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

Team discovers how Zika virus causes fetal brain damage

August 24, 2016

Infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus, thereby causing the birth defect microcephaly, a team of Yale scientists reported Aug. 24 in the journal ...

0 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.