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Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:42AM
Picture shows the coronavirus under an electron microscope

Picture shows the coronavirus under an electron microscope

A man in Qatar has died from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS), becoming the third recorded fatality from the virus in the Persian Gulf state, health officials said. Qatar's Supreme Council of Health said in a statement on Tuesday that the 61-year-old man died after contracting MERS, adding the man also suffered from underlying “chronic illnesses.” The statement also said that another man, 48, was discharged from a hospital following a three-week treatment for the coronavirus. In September, Qatar’s health officials announced two other deaths from MERS. Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it was informed of 152 confirmed cases of MERS across the world, adding that at least 64 people died from the disease by November 4. Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry said in a statement on November 10 that a total of 53 people have died from the virus in the kingdom. MERS is a cousin of SARS virus that broke out in Asia in 2003, killing some 800 people. The virus first emerged in the Middle East, and was discovered on September 2012 in a Qatari man who had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia. Cases have also been reported in Jordan, Qatar, Germany, France, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. SAB/PR