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.

Saudi reports new MERS death, infections in Jeddah (Update)

April 16, 2014
A Saudi man has died of MERS in the western city of Jeddah, where authorities have sought to calm fears over the spreading respiratory illness, the health ministry said Wednesday.

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

Newly discovered viral marker could help predict flu severity in infected patients

October 20, 2017
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

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.