Riyadh 04th May 2014: Saudi Arabia has reported 25 more cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The new cases had been reported in Riyadh – the capital city, as well as in Jeddah, Mecca and Medina.
Seven people were confirmed as having MERS on Friday, followed by 18 more on Saturday and two more people with known infections have died, according to the kingdom’s Health Ministry.
It is the largest daily increase in the spread of the MERS to date. Total number of detected cases in Saudi has reached 396, with 109 deaths.
MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus), previously known as the Novel Coronavirus or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) like virus, is a member of the coronavirus family.
The virus was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Cases have been reported in 9 countries later including France, Germany, Italy Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
The United States has reported its first case of MERS virus on Friday. The patient is a healthcare worker who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana. Egypt also reported its first case of MERS in a 27-year-old man, who had arrived from Saudi Arabia.
Common symptoms of the infection are acute, serious respiratory illness with fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Most patients have had pneumonia. Many have also had gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea. Some patients have had kidney failure.
The rise in MERS cases is of particular concern as the kingdom prepares for millions of international pilgrims during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, and for the annual hajj pilgrimage in October.