MERS cases rise to 480 in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: The number of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus cases reached 480 in Saudi Arabia Saturday including 139 deaths, as six victims died in fresh incident, the country's health ministry said.

One of people was diagnosed but died within 24 hours, while the rest were critical cases, Xinhua quoted the ministry's website as saying.  

Of the six new cases, one is receiving treatment in the intensive care, three are in stable condition and two are without symptoms. Three of the new cases have been reported from Riyadh, two from Jeddah and one from Mecca.

MERS is considered a deadly but less transmissible cousin of the SARS virus, which erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected thousands of people.

The coronavirus was first discovered in mid-2012 in an old man with acute pneumonia and renal failure.

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