Saudi Arabia announces four new deaths from Mers virus

RIYADH (AP) - Four people have died from the Mers virus in Saudi Arabia, bringing the death toll from the Sars-like virus in the kingdom to 32, the health ministry said on its website on Monday.

Two people died in the western city of Taif and the other two were pronounced dead in Eastern Province, where most cases have been registered, said the statement.

Overall, nearly 40 people have died from the virus since September, mostly in Europe and the Middle East, according to local officials and the World Health Organisation.

The Saudi Health Ministry also said on Monday that it confirmed three more cases of the virus, including in a 2-year-old child.

Officials are still seeking clues on how easily it spreads between humans.

The new virus is related to Sars, which killed some 800 people in a global epidemic in 2003, and belongs to a family of viruses that most often causes the common cold.