WHO says 4 new Saudi cases of Mers virus, one fatal
LONDON (REUTERS) - Four more people in Saudi Arabia have been infected with the SARS-like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) virus and one of them - an elderly man - has died, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.
The new infections, including in two health workers from Riyadh who have not reported any adverse symptoms, bring the worldwide total of confirmed cases of the respiratory disease to 170 with 72 deaths, the United Nations health agency said.
Mers first emerged in the Middle East in September 2012 and is from the same family as the Sars virus, can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia.
Cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Tunisia as well as in several countries in Europe, and scientists are increasingly focused on a link between the human infections and camels as a possible "animal reservoir" of the virus.