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Istanbul - The death of a Jeddah man brought to 50 the number of deaths worldwide attributed to the MERS coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday.
The 38-year-old was the latest to succumb to the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which was first identified by British researchers last September.
A 55-year-old man has also been found to be infected with MERS-CoV, the country's health ministry said. Two children in his family also tested positive for MERS-CoV, but did not exhibit any symptoms.
Saudi Arabia is at the centre of the contagion, accounting for 43 MERS-CoV deaths since it began last year. Researchers have found the virus in bats in the kingdom.
MERS-CoV triggers flu-like symptoms and can lead to kidney failure and severe pneumonia. The WHO describes the virus as a “threat to the entire world.”
Around 800 people died of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), also a form of coronavirus, ten years ago.