New MERS death in Saudi; toll 57

December 27, 2013 - 3:16:53 am

RIYADH: Saudi health authorities announced yesterday a new MERS death, taking to 57 the number of people killed by the coronavirus in the country with the most fatalities.

The health ministry said in a statement on its website that a 73-year-old Saudi man, who suffered from chronic illnesses, died in Riyadh after he contracted MERS.

Authorities also registered four other new MERS cases in the capital.

Two are Saudis, one is a 57-year-old who is chronically ill and in intensive care and the other is a 27-year-old medic.

The other two people infected are foreign medics, a 43-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man.

The ministry said 141 cases had been reported in the country since the virus appeared more than a year ago.

Experts are struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no vaccine.

MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died. AFP

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