Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

New Saudi MERS cases spark global health concern

Author:

Global health officials are working to contain a virus in the same family as the SARS virus, which killed about 800 people worldwide after first appearing in China.

At least 272 cases of the potentially deadly respiratory virus known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have been reported in Saudi Arabia. Yemen, Malaysia, the Philippines and Greece also reported their first cases last week, all linked to travelers from the Gulf, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The cases in Saudi Arabia include the first in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Bloomberg reports. 

“We believe MERS is a zoonotic virus, meaning that the virus comes from animals, namely camels, and is transmitted to humans,” Maria Van Kerkhove, a senior research fellow at Imperial College in London and a technical expert for the WHO, told Bloomberg. “The virus can also be transmitted from human to human, which we have seen between family members and health-care workers caring for MERS patients.”

Although the worldwide number of MERS infections is fairly small, the more than 40 percent death rate among confirmed cases and the spread of the virus beyond the Middle East is keeping scientists and public health officials on alert, Reuters reports. 

The jump in Saudi cases is of particular concern because Saudi Arabia is expecting millions of pilgrims from around the world to perform the annual Haj in Mecca and Medina in early October.

Read more about MERS 

Next Up

D'Angelo Russell

Wolves rebound with statement win against Bucks

D'Angelo Russell and the Timberwolves bounced back with a win over the defending champs.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 7.08.20 PM

Train carrying ethanol derails in southern Minnesota

The State Fire Marshal has sent in experts to help with the situation.

ambulance

Motorcyclist dies a month after striking deer in Minnesota

The crash happened north of Mankato near the small town of Norseland.

fire pixabay stock

House explosion kills 1, severely injures another

Authorities described the home as "completely destroyed."

Kotyza-Witthuhn screengrab

Watch: MN lawmaker 'attacked' by giggling child during live hearing

This has to be the most adorable moment ever from a Commerce Finance and Policy Committee hearing, right?

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin leaving WCCO Radio for bigger role with Big Ten Network

Martin has been a staple at WCCO Radio since Election Day 2016.

Flickr - Xcel Energy truck - Tony Webster

Xcel Energy wants to raise MN customers' electricity rates

If approved, rates go up by an average of $18.50 a month for customers.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 1.11.05 PM

MPD chief 'confident' officers will still show up after Question 2 vote

Arradondo held a press conference Wednesday in which he urged for a 'No' vote.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Charges: Driver in fatal hit-and-run said he thought he hit dog or sign

The crash killed a 56-year-old Blaine woman who had been out walking her dog.

vaccine, covid

Here is Minnesota's plan to vaccinate kids 5-11 against COVID-19

The plan includes hosting vaccination clinics at schools across the state.

Mounds View PD missing 12yo Riddley

12-year-old Twin Cities boy has been missing for 4 days

Police are asking for the public's help locating the child,

Related