Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

The 55-year-old woman, whose nationality was not disclosed, was suffering from chronic illnesses, a statement said.

The said five other people living in Riyadh were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, two of them foreigners.

Late on Thursday, the ministry reported the death of a 70-year-old Saudi woman in the western city of Jeddah where the has spread in recent weeks.

It reported six other infections in Jeddah, among them an expat " worker," bringing to 218 the number of MERS infections in the worst-hit country.

Panic over the spread of MERS among medical staff in Jeddah this month forced the temporary closure of an emergency room at a major hospital, prompting Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabiah to visit the facility in a bid to calm the public.

Local media reported Wednesday at least four doctors at Jeddah's King Fahd hospital have resigned after refusing to treat patients affected by MERS, apparently out of fear of catching the virus.

The MERS virus was initially concentrated in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia but has now spread across other areas.

The World Health Organisation said Thursday it had been told of 243 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection worldwide, of which 93 have proved fatal.

Malaysia announced the first MERS death Sunday in the country of a man who had developed a fever, cough and breathing difficulties after returning from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca on March 29.

The case prompted Malaysian authorities to quarantine 64 people in the dead man's village.

The MERS virus 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.

Experts are still struggling to understand MERS, for which there is no known vaccine.

A recent study said the virus has been "extraordinarily common" in camels for at least 20 years, and may have been passed directly from the animals to humans.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi, 8 infected

Apr 13, 2014

A foreigner has died from MERS while eight people including five health workers have been infected in the Saudi city of Jeddah, where the spread of the coronavirus among medics has sparked panic.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi Arabia (Update)

Apr 14, 2014

A foreigner has died from MERS in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, where authorities have sought to calm fears over the spreading respiratory illness, the health ministry said Monday.

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 66

Apr 07, 2014

Saudi health authorities have reported the deaths of another two men from the MERS coronavirus, bringing the death toll from the respiratory disease in the worst hit country to 66.

Recommended for you

UN says Syria vaccine deaths was an NGO 'mistake'

7 hours ago

The recent deaths of Syrian children after receiving measles vaccinations was the result of a "mistake" by a non-governmental partner who mixed in a muscle relaxant meant for anesthesia, a spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general ...

First US child dies from enterovirus D68

8 hours ago

A child in the northeastern US state of Rhode Island has become the first to die from an ongoing outbreak of a respiratory virus, enterovirus D68, health officials said Wednesday.

US Ebola patient had contact with kids: governor

8 hours ago

A man who was diagnosed with Ebola in virus in Texas came in contact with young children, and experts are monitoring them for any signs of disease, governor Rick Perry said Wednesday.

UN worker dies of suspected Ebola in Liberia

8 hours ago

The United Nations mission in Liberia announced on Wednesday the first suspected victim among its employees of the deadly Ebola epidemic ravaging the impoverished west African nation.

User comments