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Iran confirms first two cases of Mers, sends study teams to Saudi Arabia

Published on May 27, 2014 6:18 PM

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Iranian officials say they have confirmed the country's first two cases of Mers, a deadly virus first reported two years ago in Saudi Arabia, its neighbour on the western side of the Gulf.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona-Virus (Mers) causes coughing, fever and sometimes fatal pneumonia, killing an estimated 30 per cent of those who are infected.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Mers, which has killed more than 175 people in Saudi Arabia and spread throughout the region, also reaching as far as Malaysia, Greece, Lebanon and the United States.

"Four suspected cases of new corona virus infection were observed in a family in the province of Kerman. Two of these cases were confirmed in two sisters," said Mr Mohammad Mahdi Gouya, the director-general of communicable diseases at the Iranian Health Ministry's Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention.

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