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Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:51AM
Picture shows the coronavirus under an electron microscope

Picture shows the coronavirus under an electron microscope

Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has announced another fatality from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the kingdom. In a statement on its website on Wednesday, the ministry announced the death of a 73-year-old Saudi woman from the MERS-CoV in the capital Riyadh. The ministry further reported a new infection of a 65-year-old Saudi man in the northern Al-Jawf province, saying the man is receiving treatment at a hospital in the capital at present. The ministry also noted that the recent death has placed the total number of those who have died from the illness in Saudi Arabia at 54. 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. MERS-CoV is a cousin of SARS. 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. Similar cases have also been reported in Jordan, Qatar, Germany, France, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. Health officials say the virus is likely to have already spread between people in some circumstances. On Tuesday, Qatar's Supreme Council of Health said in a statement that a 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 hospital following a three-week treatment for the coronavirus. Last week, Spain’s Health Ministry also said a woman was diagnosed with the MERS-CoV. In a statement released on November 6, the ministry added that this was the first case of the MERS-CoV infection to have been reported in the European country. The woman was infected with the deadly coronavirus after returning from a visit to Saudi Arabia, it said. MERS-CoV is most closely related to a bat virus. Scientists are considering whether bats or other animals like goats or camels are a possible source of infection. IA/NN
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