Saudi reports five new MERS deaths, taking toll to 92

April 26, 2014

The Saudi health ministry on Saturday announced five new deaths from the MERS coronavirus, taking the country's death toll to 92.

A statement released overnight added that 14 new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome were detected in the kingdom, bringing the total to 313 since the virus first emerged there in September 2012.

Among the five who died were two elderly Palestinians and a Bangladeshi woman in her 40s, the statement said. The two other victims were Saudis.

Public concern over the spread of MERS mounted last week after the resignation of at least four doctors at Jeddah's King Fahd Hospital who refused to treat patients for fear of infection.

On Thursday King Abdullah visited the Red Sea city and commercial hub in a bid to reassure the public amid fears the virus had mutated to make it more transmissible from person to person.

National Guard Minister Prince Mitab said his father King Abdullah went to Jeddah "to reassure the public and to prove that the exaggerated and false rumours about coronavirus are not true."

"The MERS situation is reassuring and it has not reached the level of an epidemic," he said.

That did not stop the king from dismissing health minister Abdullah al-Rabiah on Monday without an official explanation.

Labour Minister Adel Fakieh, who has taken over as acting minister, has promised "transparency and to promptly provide the media and society with the information needed."

The World Health Organisation announced Wednesday that it had offered to send international experts to Saudi Arabia to investigate "any evolving risk" associated with the transmission pattern of the virus.

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

Explore further: Saudi MERS death toll now 87

Related Stories

Saudi MERS death toll now 87

April 25, 2014

Saudi Arabia announced Friday two more deaths from the MERS coronavirus, taking the country's toll to 87, a day after King Abdullah tried to reassure a worried public.

Saudi health minister sacked as MERS toll rises

April 21, 2014

Saudi Arabia dismissed its health minister on Monday just days after he visited a hospital at the centre of growing concerns about the kingdom's handling of the MERS virus.

Saudi announces 11 new MERS infections (Update)

April 23, 2014

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced 11 new cases of MERS, including a 13-year-old child, as its acting health minister vowed to keep the public better informed about the coronavirus.

Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

April 20, 2014

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi, 8 infected

April 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.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


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.