First MERS death in Algeria

An Algerian man in his fifties has died of the MERS virus, the first such fatality in the country, the health ministry announced Tuesday.

The 59-year-old victim was among the first two cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus to be discovered in Algeria late last month.

Both men had just returned from a pilgrimage to Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia, where most cases and deaths from the disease have been reported.

The unnamed man died after 11 days in hospital in the town of Tlemcen, 600 kilometres west of Algiers, following a deterioration of his vital functions overnight Monday.

The condition of the second confirmed MERS case, a 66-year-old man hospitalised in Kolea near Algiers, is improving, the said.

Other countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, have also recorded cases, mostly in people who had been to Saudi Arabia.

The MERS virus is considered a deadlier but less transmissible cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus that appeared in Asia in 2003 and killed hundreds of people, mostly in China.

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.

MERS has killed 284 people in Saudi Arabia since it first emerged in 2012, and hundreds more have been infected.

Muslim pilgrims from around the world are pouring into the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, undeterred by the spread of the .

Research has suggested that the virus has been quite common in camels for at least the past 20 years.

Last week, researchers said they had found the first direct evidence that MERS jumps directly from camels to humans.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

First MERS infections detected in Algeria

May 31, 2014

Algeria reported its first two cases of the deadly MERS virus on Saturday, both among pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia, where most cases and deaths from the disease have been reported.

Saudis announce two new MERS deaths

May 20, 2014

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reported two new deaths from the MERS coronavirus, taking to 175 the overall number of fatalities from the respiratory disease in the world's worst-hit country.

New MERS death reported in Jordan

Jun 01, 2014

A 69-year-old man has died in Jordan after being infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, a health ministry official said on Sunday.

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 126

May 09, 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.

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.

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

17 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

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.