Saudi Arabia reports increase in MERS cases

A review of hospital records accounted for the increase.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   June 27, 2014 at 1:02 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, June 27 (UPI) -- Saudi authorities said 113 new cases of the MERS coronavirus respiratory disease, and 34 deaths, have been recently reported.

The incidents were discovered in a review of hospital records dating back to February. The World Health Organization said the new reports raise the MERS count to 820 reported cases and 286 deaths. Cases have been confirmed in the Middle East, Western Europe and the United States, and generally involve individuals who traveled to Saudi Arabia.

The infection, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, was first detected in 2012 with a death in Saudi Arabia. Researchers believe the virus causing the infection crossed over from animals, specifically camels, although the link has not been proven. The virus has similarities to the common cold virus, but can cause pneumonia and kidney failure.

The WHO warned people to avoid raw camel milk and camel urine, and be sure any meat eaten is properly cooked.

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