WHO confirms ninth case of deadly virus in Saudi

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A Saudi man infected with a new deadly virus has died, taking the global death toll from the previously unknown disease to nine, the World Health Organisation has confirmed.

The 39-year-old man, who was not been named, developed symptoms of the SARS-like disease on February 24 and died March 2, WHO said.  Fifteen people globally have so far been diagnosed with the virus.

“WHO encourages all member states to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns,” WHO said in a statement.

“WHO is currently working with international experts and countries where cases have been reported to assess the situation and review recommendations for surveillance and monitoring,” it added.

The patient’s death follows a month after a man in the UK died after contracting the disease from a relative after one of his family members travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan. It was the first case of human-to-human transition of the virus in the UK.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that includes causes of the common cold but can also include more severe illness such as the virus responsible for SARS.

In 2002, an outbreak of the SARS coronavirus killed about 800 people after it spread from Hong Kong to more than 30 countries around the world.

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