New MERS death raises Saudi toll to 59

Saudi health authorities announced Wednesday a new MERS death, bringing to 59 the number of people who have died from the coronavirus in the country with the most fatalities.

The Saudi national, aged 60, died in hospital in the Riyadh region, said the health ministry on its website, adding that he had suffered from chronic disease.

The ministry said it has registered additional cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, bringing the total number to 143, including the fatalities.

The World Health Organisation said Monday that it has been informed of 180 cases of infection worldwide, including 77 deaths.

Experts are struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no vaccine.

MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

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