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.

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

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

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.