Saudi announces 56th MERS death

December 21, 2013 10:51 am
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A Muslim pilgrim wears a mask as he arrives to perform evening prayers in Mecca's Grand Mosque, on October 8, 2013 before the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage, amid concerns over the deadly MERS coronavirus/AFP
A Muslim pilgrim wears a mask as he arrives to perform evening prayers in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, on October 8, 2013 before the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage, amid concerns over the deadly MERS coronavirus/AFP

, RIYADH, Dec 21 – The Saudi health ministry announced Saturday a new MERS death, raising to 56 the number of people killed by the coronavirus in the country with the most fatalities.

The victim was a 73 year old Saudi man, who suffered from chronic illnesses, the ministry said on its website.

It also reported three new cases of the virus.

They are two foreigners working in health care who had been exposed to patients suffering from the virus and a 53 year old Saudi man who is also chronically ill and in intensive care.

The ministry said 136 cases have been reported in the country since the virus appeared more than a year ago.

Experts are struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no vaccine.

It is considered a deadlier but less transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

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