GENEVA Aug 28 Eight more people in Saudi Arabia
have contracted the MERS coronavirus, bringing the number of
confirmed infections worldwide in the past year to 102, of whom
almost half have died, the World Health Organization said on
Two of the men from Riyadh, who were already suffering from
chronic diseases, died, while most of the other victims remain
in intensive care, it said.
Additionally, a person with a previously
laboratory-confirmed case from the United Arab Emirates has
died, it said.
"Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been
informed of a total of 102 laboratory-confirmed cases of
infection with MERS-CoV, including 49 deaths," the WHO said in a
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV),
which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, emerged in Saudi
Arabia last year and has been reported in people in the Gulf,
France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Britain.
In a study into what kind of animal "reservoir" may be
fuelling the outbreak in humans, scientists said this month they
had found strong evidence it is widespread among dromedary
camels in the Middle East.
The WHO, a U.N. agency, has not recommended any travel
restrictions but has urged health authorities worldwide to
maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle
East who develop severe respiratory infections should be tested
for MERS-CoV, it said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams)