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Two people die of MERS in Saudi

Two people die of MERS in Saudi

The kingdom reported 10 additional MERS cases last month

Two people have died of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in southern Saudi Arabia, Saudi’s Ministry of Health has reported.

One of the victims was a man in his 60s from Mahayil Asir while the other was a man in his 70s, Saudi Gazette reported.

In a report late last month, the World Health Organisation confirmed that the kingdom reported 10 additional MERS cases between December 6-13 including two fatalities.

They include – a 72-year-old man in Taif city; a 64-year-old woman in Buridah city, Qassim; a 59-year-old man in Mahayl Assir city; a 49-year-old man in Jeddah; a 53-year-old male man in Riyadh; a 24-year-old man in Hofouf city, Al Ahssa; a 78-year-old man in Riyadh; and a 58-year-old man in Afif city, Riyadh.

The victims include a 60-year-old man in Mahayl Assir city and a 56-year-old man in Riyadh city, WHO stated.

Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1,864 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV including at least 659 related deaths.

The Gulf countries have been seeing a seasonal surge in the number of MERS infections during the early part of the year, a trend that has worried health experts.

However, the number of deaths caused by MERS has comparatively reduced due to increased vigilance from the region’s health officials.

Saudi Arabia has replaced its health ministers twice since the outbreak of the disease in 2012. Health authorities in the kingdom have also urged residents to refrain from consuming camel meat or milk over fears of the disease spreading.

MERS, a virus similar to SARS, is a respiratory disease that causes coughing, fever and breathing problems, and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.

The virus is known to be contracted through exposure to infected individuals, from hospitals and by direct contact with camels – believed to be carriers of the virus.

There is no cure or vaccine for MERS, which kills around 40 per cent of its victims.

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