SARS-like virus, or MERS-CoV killed two in Saudi Arabia

July 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, July 3 (UPI) -- Officials at the Saudi Ministry of Health said there have been two more deaths due to the SARS-like virus, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.

A 75-year-old Saudi male and a 63-year-old Saudi female were listed among those infected with the virus, the Ministry of Health said. This brings the total number of deaths to at least 34 in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, out of 62 cases, the ministry said.

Coronaviruses constitute a big family including viruses that can cause colds, and in some cases can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. Most cases of MERS-CoV are simple.

However, Coronavirus is considered new and health officials do not yet know a lot about its characteristics and ways of its transmission.

The new virus is linked to one of four countries: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Sixty-two cases were reported by Saudi Arabia. The United Kingdom, Italy, France and Tunisia reported cases involving travelers to the Arabian Peninsula and close contacts.

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