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​Saudi Arabia MERS cases surpass 400, more than 100 dead

Published time: May 05, 2014 20:36
AFP Photo / Fayez Nureldine

AFP Photo / Fayez Nureldine

Some 414 people in Saudi Arabia have fallen victim to the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus after a further 18 were diagnosed on Monday. One hundred and fifteen people have died so far as a result of the disease.

All of the new cases diagnosed in the past 48 hours were concentrated around the country’s capital, Riyadh, along with Jeddah – the main gateway to the Islamic holy city of Mecca, in the country’s west – and both holy cities of Mecca and Medina, according to the Saudi Health Ministry, which reported the cases on its website.

The disease is beginning to pose a severe concern to Saudi Arabia, which will host millions of foreign Muslim pilgrims during Ramadan in July. Millions more are expected in October for the Hajj pigrimage to Mecca. The journey must be completed at least once in every Muslim's lifetime, and is one of the 'Five Pillars' of the faith.

“From mid-March 2014, 111 people have tested positive in the Jeddah area; the biggest single surge in the MERS-CoV outbreak since the new virus was detected in April 2012. Thirty-one persons have died,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement released Friday.

Some 115 people have now died from the SARS-like virus, according to the health ministry. A large proportion of the deaths have been foreign health workers.

A further case was reported on Monday in Jordan. The man in question is reportedly related to someone previously diagnosed with MERS, according to Reuters.

Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Tunisia have been among other countries which have documented cases within their borders. Greece has also reported that one of its citizens – a permanent resident of Saudi Arabia – contracted the virus, and last week the US confirmed the case of a man who had recently been to Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, Egypt said it was looking into the possibility of whether a 60-year-old woman had died of MERS.

MERS has spread since it was initially discovered in Saudi Arabia two years ago; incidences have doubled since the beginning of April alone.

MERS has frequently been compared to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus which swept through Asia in 2003, infecting over 8,000 people and causing some 800 deaths worldwide. MERS is thought to be deadlier but more difficult to transmit. There is no vaccine or treatment for MERS at present.

Comments (19)

 

Bilkis Bawany 17.05.2014 20:24

I think this MERS virus made by Muslim enemies one by one all Muslim countries got in problem or on other hand it is in form of Punishment from ALLAH because they made Big round around KABA they demolished all small budget hotel now how poor can pay $800 per night all travel agent in pakistan and USA took $14,000 for HAJ package

 

Peter James Forster 12.05.2014 17:44

denisovich 06.05.2014 17:14



Is this before or after Allah annointed the Suadis with the largest reserve of oil in the world and the Americans to retrieve it for them. Using your theory, Allah lets Americans and Saudis to the front of the line.

  


Russia is now the N0.1 Oil Producing country! Saudi Arabia only N0.2

 

Domenico Fino 09.05.2014 14:47

Presto li vedremo in Italia questi casi grazie all'operazione Mare Nostrum!

View all comments (19)
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