Saudi Arabia Sees 11 New MERS Cases as Virus Sweeps to Mecca

Thursday, April 24, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Deema Almashabi and Kambiz Foroohar
Bloomberg.com
Apr 23, 2014

Saudi Arabia reported another 11 cases of a potentially deadly respiratory virus, including the first in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

Six of the people to have newly contracted Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, were in Jeddah, the kingdom’s largest city, with another four in the capital, Riyadh, and one in Mecca, according to a health ministry statement. That brings the total number of cases in the country to 272.

“We are concerned about these new cases in health facilities” in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for World Health Organization, in an e-mail. “We are unaware at this point of the specific types of exposure in the health care facilities that have resulted in transmission of these infections.”

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