JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) - The Saudi Arabian Health Ministry announced eight new deaths from the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) virus on Sunday, taking the kingdom's death toll from the disease to 102.
A full 39 of the deaths have been this month, sparking growing public concern about the virus that first emerged in April 2012. Among the latest deaths was a nine-month-old infant, the ministry said.
The number of recorded infections in the kingdom has risen to 339, it added. Among them were four medical staff at a single hospital in Tabuk in the north-west, two doctors - one Egyptian and one Syrian - and two Philippine nurses.
Panic over the spread of the virus among medical staff in the western city of Jeddah led to the temporary closure of a main hospital's emergency room.
At least four doctors at Jeddah's King Fahd Hospital resigned earlier this month after refusing to treat Mers patients for fear of infection.