Saudi Arabia sees first new MERS-free days for six weeks

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

The rate of infection of a deadly virus in Saudi Arabia has slowed since mid May and Monday was the first day free of new cases in six weeks, figures released by the kingdom's Health Ministry showed.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was discovered in Saudi Arabia two years ago and has since infected 562 people in the kingdom, killing 179 of them. It can cause flu-like symptoms, pneumonia and organ failure in some.

A surge in new cases in April prompted King Abdullah to sack the health minister and led to criticism of infection control procedures in many Saudi hospitals. There were also concerns the government was not taking seriously MERS's link to camels.

Cases have also been discovered in other countries, including the United States, Britain and France and, most recently, in Iran. Most of these cases are linked to people who have recently visited Gulf Arab countries.

In the first two weeks of the month, the daily number of new cases in Saudi Arabia averaged nearly 11, but since May 14 the average number of new confirmed infections has been a little over four a day, the figures show.

Late on Monday the ministry reported its first day free of new confirmed infections since April 13.

The number of new patients had soared across Saudi Arabia, with the total number of confirmed cases jumping to 511 on May 14 from the 173 confirmed in laboratories at the end of March.

International scientists have also complained that Saudi authorities have not done enough to work with them on investigating the disease, something the kingdom's Health Ministry denies.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Finger on the pulse of Gulf healthcare

Finger on the pulse of Gulf healthcare

Fast-expanding Anglo Arabian Healthcare has already built up...

Saudi healthcare booms as state bids to close welfare gap

Saudi healthcare booms as state bids to close welfare gap

Stock market listings are being planned by two of Saudi Arabia...

Revealed: How the Gulf is losing billions to medical insurance fraud

Revealed: How the Gulf is losing billions to medical insurance fraud

The growing issue of medical insurance fraud and abuse — ranging...

Most Discussed