MERS: 10 deaths, 20 new cases in Saudi Arabia

Ahram Online, Thursday 15 May 2014

Twenty new cases of MERS have been detected in Saudi Arabia since Tuesday, the health ministry announces, bringing the total number of cases in the kingdom to 511

A Muslim pilgrim wears a surgical mask to help prevent infection from a respiratory virus known as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday May, 13, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Saudi Arabia has announced the death of ten people from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) over the past two days.

Twenty new cases were diagnosed, which raises the total number of cases in the kingdom to 511.

The Saudi health ministry said five people died on Tuesday and another five on Wednesday.

Among the 16 cases detected on Wednesday two died and among the four cases detected on Tuesday one died.

There have been 157 deaths from the virus in Saudi Arabia since monitoring began two years ago.

A Saudi man, who owned four camels, was the first person to be infected in 2012.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on Wednesday that concern about the corona virus had "increased significantly" but the disease did not yet require a global emergency response.

The majority of cases have been in Saudi Arabia, although the disease has spread within the region and to Asia, North Africa, Europe and the United States.

MERS often starts with flu-like symptoms but can lead to pneumonia, breathing problems and in severe cases, kidney failure and death. It kills about 30 percent of those who carry the virus.

The emergency committee of the WHO held a meeting in Geneva on Tuesday. It that concluded that the danger of the situation had increased in terms of the effects on public health, but there was no firm evidence on the transmission of the virus between humans yet.

The WHO said countries must take immediate action to control the virus.

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