Monday, November 4, 2013

Saudi Kingdom Reports Another MERS Fatality

MERS corona virus from CDC
The World Health Organization is reporting another fatality from the mysterious Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The most recent victim was a 56 year old woman from the Eastern region of the country. She had chronic medical conditions and been in contact with a previous MERS patient.

WHO has now confirmed 150 cases of MERS in nine countries, 64 have died. 126 cases have originated in Saudi Arabia with 54 deaths.

The deadly MERS virus is a corona virus, similar to SARS. Both are believed to have originated in bats and evolved to infect humans. SARS appears to be more contagious than MERS but the Middle East Repiratory Syndrome is more deadly.

Countries around the world are closely watching pilgrims returning from the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina following the Hajj. One of the pillars of Islam, it is a journey that is made by millions of Muslims every year. So far, no cases of MERS have been reported among returning Hajj travelers.

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