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.

The Middle East Respiratory System coronavirus has now killed 139 people and infected 480 in the kingdom since it first appeared in 2012, accounting for the bulk of cases registered across the globe.

In its most recent tally, issued at midday on Saturday, the Saudi health ministry said six people had died from the disease over the past 24 hours.

They were three women aged 22, 26 and 35 who died in Riyadh, a 68-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man in the western city of Medina, and a man in his 70s in the commercial capital Jeddah.

On Friday the ministry said three men aged 94, 51 and 42 had died from MERS in the Jeddah region.

It added that a 74-year-old man had died in the city of Taef, while a woman, 71, and two men aged 81 and 25 respectively, had died in the capital Riyadh.

MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that broke out in Asia in 2003, infecting 8,273 people and killing nearly 800.

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.

Experts are struggling to understand the disease for which there are currently no vaccines or antiviral treatments.

The announcement of the latest fatalities in Saudi Arabia came the day after the WHO said it would hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the spread of the virus.

The UN health agency's emergency committee has already met four times to discuss the mysterious coronavirus since it surfaced in 2012.

"The increase in the number of cases in different countries raises a number of questions," spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva on Friday, without giving further details of the aim of the new talks.

MERS cases have also been reported in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and even the United States, with most involving people who had travelled to Saudi Arabia or worked there, often as medical staff.

Explore further: WHO to hold emergency talks on deadly MERS virus Tuesday

Related Stories

WHO to hold emergency talks on deadly MERS virus Tuesday

May 9, 2014
The World Health Organization said Friday it would hold an emergency meeting next week on the deadly MERS virus, amid concern over the rising number of cases in several countries.

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.

Saudi MERS death toll reaches 115

May 5, 2014
Saudi health authorities announced on Monday that the death toll from the MERS coronavirus has reached 115 since the respiratory disease first appeared in the kingdom in 2012.

MERS death toll in Saudi reaches 111 (Update)

May 3, 2014
Saudi health authorities announced Saturday two new deaths from the MERS coronavirus, raising to 111 the number of fatalities since the disease appeared in the kingdom in September 2012.

Jordanian dies of MERS virus

May 6, 2014
A man has died in Jordan after being infected with the MERS virus, a media report said Tuesday, in the kingdom's second fatality from the disease this year and fourth since 2012.

Jordan records two new MERS infections

May 1, 2014
Two new infections from MERS coronavirus have been detected in Jordan, the health ministry said Thursday, one a Saudi man and the other a Jordanian medic who was treating him.

Recommended for you

New long-acting approach for malaria therapy developed

January 22, 2018
A new study, published in Nature Communications, conducted by the University of Liverpool and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlights a new 'long acting' medicine for the prevention of malaria.

Virus shown to be likely cause of mystery polio-like illness

January 22, 2018
A major review by UNSW researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe.

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

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.