March 15, 2012 By

Saudi in the Grip of MERS

saudiSaudi Arabia announced that the death toll from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has reached 102 on Sunday since it was discovered in April 2012 with the Saudi Health Ministry reporting ten new deaths in a statement.

There has been a surge in the infections caused by the Mers coronavirus increasing the panic over the spread of virus among the people. Symptoms include fever, pneumonia and kidney failure. Acting health minister said that three hospitals in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam have been designated as specialist centres for treatment of Mers. The centres could accommodate 146 patients in intensive care. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday had announced that it would help Saudi Arabia in investigating the infection patterns.

The ministry said that it had detected a total of 16 new cases of Mers (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) over the past 24 hours. Education Minister Khaled Al-Faisal urged the school authorities to take precautionary measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

A recent study revealed that the virus has been “extraordinarily common” in camels for at least 20 years, may have been passed from the animals to humans. The disease is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus which erupted in Asia in 2003, infecting 8,273 people and killing almost nine percent of them.

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