Elderly woman dies of SARS-like virus in Saudi

May 26, 2013

An 81-year-old woman who had contracted a SARS-like coronavirus has died in Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll in the kingdom to 18, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

"An 81-year-old woman who was suffering from kidney failure as well as other chronic illnesses has died" in the eastern Al-Ahsaa region of oil-rich Saudi Arabia after contracting the virus, it said.

Saudi Arabia counts by far the most cases, with 30 confirmed infections and 18 fatalities, while cases have also been detected in Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, the , Germany, Britain and France.

So far, there have been 44 lab-confirmed cases worldwide of the virus, which until now has been known as the novel coronavirus, or nCoV-EMC, but was this week redubbed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS.

In Saudi Arabia most cases have been registered in the kingdom's east, with the health ministry saying that most of those who died were "elderly people with ".

However, since May 18, no new cases have been registered in Al-Ahsaa while nine people who had been infected have now been cured, the ministry added.

The said on Friday that much uncertainty remained surrounding MERS, stressing that it aimed to work closely with Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and perhaps other Middle Eastern countries to determine how great the risk is.

Saudi Arabia had announced it would send samples taken from animals possibly infected with a deadly SARS-like virus to the United States for testing in a bid to find the source of disease.

The virus is a cousin of (SARS), which triggered a scare 10 years ago when it erupted in east Asia, leaping to humans from animal hosts and eventually killing some 800 people.

Like SARS, the appears to cause an infection deep in the lungs, with patients suffering from a temperature, cough and breathing difficulty, but it differs from SARS in that it also causes rapid .

Explore further: SARS-like virus claims new life in Saudi

Related Stories

SARS-like virus claims new life in Saudi

May 22, 2013
A man who had contracted the coronavirus has died in Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll in the kingdom from the SARS-like virus to 17, the health ministry announced on its website on Wednesday.

SARS-like virus claims new life in Saudi

May 20, 2013
A Saudi man who had contracted the coronavirus has died, raising the death toll in the kingdom from the SARS-like virus to 16, the health ministry announced on Monday on its Internet website.

SARS-like virus kills two more in Saudi

May 6, 2013
A new SARS-like virus has killed two more people in Saudi Arabia, taking the number of deaths from the coronavirus that the kingdom has announced to seven in one week, the health ministry said.

Saudi detects four new SARS-like cases

May 14, 2013
Four more cases of the deadly coronavirus have been detected in Saudi Arabia, the health ministry said, raising the number of people infected from the SARS-like virus in the kingdom to 28, including 15 fatalities.

Saudi detects six new SARS-like cases

May 14, 2013
Saudi Arabia has detected six new cases of the deadly coronavirus, the health ministry said, raising the number of people infected from the SARS-like virus in the kingdom to 30, half of them fatalities.

WHO voices deep concern over spread of SARS-like virus

May 24, 2013
The World Health Organization voiced deep concern Thursday over the SARS-like virus that has killed 22 people in less than a year, saying it might potentially spread more widely between humans.

Recommended for you

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

Addressing superbug resistance with phage therapy

August 16, 2017
International research involving a Monash biologist shows that bacteriophage therapy – a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria - can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug ...

Can previous exposure to west Nile alter the course of Zika?

August 15, 2017
West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone ...

Compounds in desert creosote bush could treat giardia and 'brain-eating' amoeba infections

August 15, 2017
Researchers at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that compounds produced by the creosote bush, a ...

0 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.