Saudi Arabia Confirms Four More Coronavirus Cases
Posted by addisethiopia on June 17, 2013
Saudi Arabia said it has confirmed four more cases of a lethal new coronavirus in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, with the oil-rich region now accounting for half of the total 38 cases confirmed globally in the year-long outbreak. The rate of infection also may be increasing, with more than half of the new cases reported during the past two weeks, heightening worries in Saudi Arabia and internationally about the disease’s spread. The Saudi government says 28 of the total cases confirmed since fall 2012 occurred in the kingdom, and nine people have died.
The virus, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, has spread from the Gulf to France, Britain and Germany. The WHO has called it the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
It is a distant relative of the virus that triggered the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that swept the world in late 2003 and killed 775 people.
The origin of the MERS virus is still unclear. So far, it appears to spread between people only when there is close, prolonged contact.