Saudi Arabia's MERS death toll passes 40

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More than 40 people in Saudi Arabia have now died from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS), with two more deaths in the past five days, according to the kingdom’s Ministry of Health.

Another four people also have been recently diagnosed with the disease, which has claimed 47 lives worldwide.

One of the recent fatalities was a 51-year-old man who also had cancer and chronic diseases, while the other was a 54 year-old, whose gender was not specified, also suffering from chronic diseases.

The first case of MERS was reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and is considered related to the SARS virus that infected more than 8000 people from 2003.

There is no vaccine yet and the disease has a significantly high fatality rate.

MERS is believed to have initiated in bats and somehow been transferred to humans.

It causes flu-like symptoms.

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