A 57-year-old man died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Riyadh last Wednesday, according to the Saudi Ministry of Health.
The ministry’s website classified the victim as the first MERS victim of 2018.
Meanwhile, it also announced that an 80-year-old suffering from the virus was “stable.”
“MERS is endemic in camels in the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries,” Abdullah Assiri, deputy minister for infectious diseases, was reported to have told Arab News on Saturday.
“Human infections are sporadic and linked to direct or indirect exposure to camels or camels’ environment.”
He stressed that “human-to-human transmission is not sustained in the community, however, in health care settings, the transmission is much more efficient. In 2017, MERS outbreaks were largely prevented or controlled.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced five new H5N8 avian flu cases in Riyadh, Ahsa and Al-Duwadmi.
It said that teams in Kharj, Hiraimla, Dharma, Ahsa, Buraidah, Bikairiyah, and Al-Duwadmi have culled infected birds.
The ministry has also banned poultry farms from transporting live birds between regions of the country unless they have permits.
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