Dubai: The MERS coronavirus has killed two more people in the Gulf, one in Saudi Arabia where the strain emerged last year, and one in neighbouring Qatar, health authorities said.
The death of a 74-year-old man in the Medinah region of western Saudi Arabia was the 45th fatality in the kingdom from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia.
The Saudi Health Ministry also said on Sunday that three women aged between 64 and 75 had contracted the disease.
A 29-year-old Qatari admitted to hospital on 17 August has died, Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health said in a statement dated 6 September, adding that another citizen who had contracted the disease while abroad had recovered.
The World Health Organization said last month the number of confirmed infections worldwide in the past year was 102, of whom almost half had died.
In a study into what kind of animal “reservoir” may be fuelling the outbreak, scientists said this month they had found strong evidence it is widespread among dromedary camels in the Middle East.
The virus has been reported in people in Tunisia, France, Germany, Italy, and Britain.