Saudi Arabia reports 2 more MERS deaths

Saudi Health Ministry has confirmed two more deaths caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus along with nine additional confirmed cases.

Saudi Health Ministry has confirmed two more deaths caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus along with nine additional confirmed cases.

DOHA – Saudi Health Ministry has confirmed two more deaths caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus along with nine additional confirmed cases.

The new deaths brought up to 30 the number of people died this month from the virus, making April the deadliest month since the appearance of the virus in 2012. The number of cases registered in April also rose to 161.

Out of the nine new cases, five involved foreigners, the ministry statement said.

Last week, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz removed Abdullah al-Rabeeah from his post as health minister on the background of the outbreak of the deadly virus in the kingdom.

Saudi's first case of the virus was documented in September 2012. It has since spread throughout the region.

Along with Saudi Arabia, cases of MERS have so far been reported in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt and Oman.

Symptoms, which include persistent fever and cough, are similar to those associated with the SARS virus.

MERS, for which no known cure is available, destroys the lungs and kidneys. It is presumed that long-term physical contact can lead to infection.

During a 2003 epidemic of SARS (an earlier form of coronavirus), more than 800 people – mostly from Asia – succumbed to the virus.

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