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Saudi Death Toll from MERS Virus Climbs to 102

  • VOA News

FILE - Saudi Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabia, who has since been replaced, speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, April 20, 2014.

FILE - Saudi Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabia, who has since been replaced, speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, April 20, 2014.

Saudi authorities confirm 10 more deaths from the mysterious MERS virus, putting the death toll since the disease first surfaced at 102.

Eight deaths were reported Sunday after two on Saturday.

The nation's health ministry says there are now 339 confirmed cases of MERS since it was first found in Saudi Arabia two years ago.

One case also has been confirmed in Egypt, in a man who recently traveled to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi pharmacists report a run on masks, hand sanitizers and other disinfectants. Some parents are keeping their children home from school. Three hospitals in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam have been designated as special MERS treatment centers.

MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is related to the SARS virus, which has killed more than 800 people worldwide.

But experts know little about MERS and there is no known vaccine. They are unsure how the virus is transmitted, but believe it may have originated in camels.
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