Saudi reports five new MERS deaths

May 18, 2014

Saudi Arabia has reported five new deaths from the MERS respiratory virus, bringing the death toll in the world's worst-hit country to 168.

In its latest tally, issued on Saturday, the health ministry said the total number of infections in the kingdom from the coronavirus since it first appeared in 2012 now stood at 529 people.

Among the latest fatalities were two men aged 67 and 55 and an 80-year-old woman in Jeddah, the port city where a spate of cases among staff at King Fahd Hospital last month led to the dismissal of its director and the health minister.

In addition, a 71-year-old man and another aged 77 died in Riyadh and Medina respectively, the ministry website reported.

Other nations including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have also recorded cases, mostly in people who had been to the desert kingdom.

The World Health Organisation carried out a five-day inspection visit to Saudi Arabia this month and pinpointed breaches in its recommended infection prevention measures as being partly responsible for the spike in hospital infections.

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

Like SARS, it appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering coughing, breathing difficulties and a temperature. But MERS differs in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.

Explore further: Saudi MERS death toll rises to 126

Related Stories

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 126

May 9, 2014

Saudi Arabia's death toll from MERS has risen by five to 126 fatalities since the mystery respiratory virus first appeared in the kingdom in 2012, the health ministry said Friday.

13 new MERS deaths in Saudi Arabia (Update)

May 10, 2014

Saudi Arabia has announced 13 more deaths from the MERS coronavirus, as the World Health Organisation prepared for an emergency meeting over worries about the spread of the disease.

Three new MERS deaths in Saudi Arabia

May 11, 2014

Three more people have died from the MERS coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, the health ministry said Sunday, taking the number of fatalities from the disease in the kingdom to 142.

Jordan reports new MERS death

May 12, 2014

A man has died in Jordan after being infected with the MERS virus, the government said Monday, on the eve of a World Health Organisation emergency meeting on the disease.

New deaths take Saudi MERS toll to 160

May 15, 2014

Health authorities in Saudi Arabia on Thursday announced the deaths of another three people from the MERS respiratory virus, taking the country's toll to 160.

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 163

May 17, 2014

Health authorities in Saudi Arabia have reported three more fatalities from the MERS respiratory virus, taking the death toll in the world's worst-hit country to 163.

Recommended for you

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Computer model reveals deadly route of Ebola outbreak

November 10, 2015

Using a novel statistical model, a research team led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health mapped the spread of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing the most detailed picture to date ...


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.