Another Saudi citizen, who contracted the SARS - like virus coronavirus, has died, the Saudi Arabian Health Ministry has announced.
The latest death raised the toll in the kingdom from the deadly respiratory virus related to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) to 16, the ministry said in a statement published on its website on Monday. "One of the patients who had contracted the virus has died" in Eastern Province, which has most of the cases in the country, it stated. On May 14, the ministry said that a total of 30 people were infected by the deadly coronavirus in the kingdom, and 15 of them died. The novel coronavirus, also known as nCoV-EMC, is a cousin of SARS. The virus first emerged in the Middle East, and was discovered on September 2012 in a Qatari man who had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia. Cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, Qatar, Britain and Germany, and health officials have said the virus has likely already spread between people in some circumstances. Health authorities are trying to find out how humans are contracting and spreading the virus and what is the best remedy to treat it. According to the reports, most patients diagnosed with the virus are elderly men. It does not appear to be as contagious as SARS, which killed some 800 people in a 2003 epidemic. The novel coronavirus is most closely related to a bat virus. Scientists are considering whether bats or other animals like goats or camels are a possible source of infection. The World Health Organization has advised countries to test any people with unexplained pneumonia.