RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said yesterday that the total number of cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) had nearly doubled in the kingdom in April with 26 further infections reported on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the disease is difficult to pass between humans, most of the cases reported in Saudi Arabia so far appear to have been transmitted between people, rather than from animals.
Seven of the new cases were in Jeddah, four in Makkah, 10 in Riyadh, two in the northern town of Tabuk and one each in Hafr Al Batin near Kuwait and Najran near Yemen. Two people, who had previously been confirmed as suffering from the disease, died.
The new cases have taken the total number of confirmed infections in Saudi Arabia to 371, a jump of 89 percent during the month of April. Most of the new infections last month came in an outbreak in three hospitals in Jeddah. Of people who caught the disease in Saudi Arabia, 107 have died since it was identified two years ago.
Meanwhile, two new infections from MERS coronavirus have been detected in Jordan, the health ministry said yesterday, one a Saudi man and the other a Jordanian medic who was treating him.