Another Saudi MERS death raises kingdom toll to 67

Saudi health authorities announced on Wednesday another death caused by the MERS virus in the capital Riyadh, bringing the nationwide toll to 67.

The 57-year-old Saudi national had been suffering from chronic illnesses, the health ministry said.

It also reported that another two Saudis had been infected by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome—one a 51-year-old and the other a 90-year-old, both of whom are suffering .

The latest figures bring to 179 the number of cases of MERS in Saudi Arabia since the virus first appeared in the kingdom in September 2012.

The virus was initially concentrated in the eastern region but has now spread across more areas.

Eleven new cases were reported in the western port city of Jeddah in recent weeks, causing a wave of panic fuelled by rumours circulated on social networks.

Of the 11 victims, two died while six have recovered and another three are undergoing treatment, according to the .

Three of the patients in Jeddah were health workers, including one of the two who died, prompting authorities to close the emergency department at the city's King Fahd Hospital.

Patients were transferred to other hospitals while the department was disinfected in a process expected to take 24 hours, the ministry said on Tuesday.

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 the disease, for which there is no known vaccine.

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

The World Health Organisation said at the end of March that it had been told of 206 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection worldwide, of which 86 had been fatal.

Related Stories

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 66

date 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.

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 63

date Mar 15, 2014

Saudi health authorities said Saturday a young man had died from the MERS coronavirus, bringing the death toll from the respiratory disease in the worst-hit country to 63.

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 62

date Mar 06, 2014

Saudi health authorities said Thursday a man has died from the MERS coronavirus, bringing the death toll from the respiratory disease in the worst-hit country to 62.

MERS death toll reaches 61 in Saudi

date Feb 23, 2014

Saudi health authorities announced on Sunday the death of an elderly woman from the MERS coronavirus, bringing the death toll from the respiratory disease in the kingdom to 61.

Recommended for you

Fighting back against superbugs

date 30 minutes ago

Antibiotics—and antibiotic resistance—are in the news once again, with announcements by McDonald's and Costco that they will eliminate antibiotics that are important to human medicine from use in the ...

Harnessing the power of microbes as therapeutics

date 1 hour ago

A new report recently released by the American Academy of Microbiology discusses how specific microbes can be modified to enhance their therapeutic potential for treating human diseases such as cancer and antibiotic resistant ...

New genetic link found for alcohol-related liver cirrhosis

date 1 hour ago

In most people, any liver damage that might occur from drinking alcohol is reversible. However, in 25 to 30 percent of alcoholics what begins as accumulation of fat in the liver progresses to inflammation, fibrosis and ultimately ...

Could camel antibodies protect humans from MERS?

date 1 hour ago

Antibodies from dromedary camels protected uninfected mice from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and helped infected mice expunge the disease, according to a study published online March 18th in the ...

Sierra Leone ends anti-Ebola lockdown after three days

date 5 hours ago

Sierra Leoneans were once again allowed to leave their homes Sunday evening after the government announced the end of a three-day nationwide lockdown aimed at preventing a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus.

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.