Middle East

Saudi Arabia reports five more Mers deaths

Workers wear mouth and nose masks during football match at King Fahad stadium. 23 April 2014 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The spread of the virus in Saudi Arabia has caused widespread alarm

Five new deaths from the Mers coronavirus have been announced in Saudi Arabia, taking the country's death toll from the disease to 92.

It comes as Egypt recorded its first case, in a 27-year-old man who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi officials said 14 new cases had been detected in the kingdom, bringing the total to 313 since the virus first emerged there 18 months ago.

Mers causes symptoms including fever, pneumonia and kidney failure.

A Saudi government statement said the latest five victims were two Saudi nationals, two elderly Palestinians and a Bangladeshi woman in her 40s.

Egypt's health ministry said the man diagnosed there with Mers - Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - was from the Nile Delta and had been living in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

He is being treated for pneumonia at a Cairo hospital and is in a stable condition, the ministry added.

Last Monday, Saudi health minister Abdullah al-Rabiah was sacked without explanation, as the Mers death toll climbed.

On Friday, a spokesman for the World Health Organization in Geneva said it was "concerned" about the rising numbers of Mers cases in Saudi Arabia.

It called for a speedy scientific breakthrough as research continues into the virus and its route of infection.

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