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.

The health ministry website also revealed on Saturday that 520 cases have been recorded in the country since Middle East Respiratory Syndrome first appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

It said three women died on Friday, including one in Riyadh, 48, and a 67-year-old in the western city of Taif.

A third woman died in Jeddah, the port city where a spate of cases among staff at King Fahd Hospital last month sparked public panic and the dismissal of its director and the health minister.

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.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said its emergency committee, which includes global medical and policy experts, had flagged mounting concerns about the potentially fatal virus.

The WHO called on countries to improve infection prevention and control, collect more data on MERS and to be vigilant in preventing it from spreading to vulnerable countries, notably in Africa.

But it has so far stopped short of declaring an international health emergency, which would have far-reaching implications such as travel and trade restrictions on affected countries.

A WHO team carried out a five-day inspection visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this month and pinpointed breaches in its recommended 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: New deaths take Saudi MERS toll to 160

Related Stories

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.

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.

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.

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.

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

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.