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Four New MERS Deaths in Saudi Arabia


The Saudi Ministry of Health announced on Monday another four deaths from the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the kingdom. Two people died in the Eastern Province and another two in Taif, bringing the death toll in the country to 32.

The ministry released a statement on its website on Monday, saying another four people died from MERS. As of June 17, a total of 49 laboratory-confirmed cases in the kingdom have been identified, including 32 fatalities. This, according to scientists, means the MERS-CoV has a 60 percent death rate, or in other words, it is far deadlier than SARS which killed nearly 800 people in an outbreak a decade ago. However, there is no evidence of widespread human-to-human transmission. Although it is not highly contagious, most of the cases in the country are within closed groups. Scientists say that the virus seems to be transmitted after a close, prolonged contact with an infected person.

The last update from the World Health Organization from Friday stated there were 58 MERS cases worldwide with the majority of them in Saudi Arabia. It also warns that the virus is a potential threat to the whole humanity because it could spark a new pandemic, even more dangerous than SARS, in case it mutates into a form can spread more easily. Now, Saudi Arabia’s health authorities are working in collaboration with the WHO and other international organizations to cope with the problem.



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