Middle East

Jordan reports new death from MERS

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The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has taken a man’s life in Jordan, the country’s health ministry says.

The Jordanian Health Ministry said on Monday that the man, in his 50s, worked in a private hospital and died on Sunday.

The latest death brought to five the number of fatalities in Jordan from MERS since it first appeared in 2012.

The announcement came after Saudi Arabia on Sunday reported three new deaths from the disease.

The total death toll from MERS in Saudi Arabia reached 142. The number of infections in the kingdom stands at 483.

On Monday, US health officials said a second case of MERS has been found in the state of Florida.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the patient, who works and resides in Saudi Arabia, traveled by plane on May 1 from Jeddah to London, England, then to Boston, Atlanta, and Orlando.

MERS is a cousin of SARS. The virus, which causes coughing, fever and pneumonia, does not appear to be as contagious as SARS, which killed some 800 people in a 2003 epidemic.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, MERS has been reported in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Tunisia and Britain.

Most cases outside Saudi Arabia involve people who had travelled to the country or worked there.

The World Health Organization is set to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the distressing spread of MERS.

Tarik Jasarevic, spokesman for the UN health agency said on Friday that the “increase in the number of cases in different countries raises a number of questions.” He did not elaborate on his comments.

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