Saudi Arabia reports three more deaths as cases continue to rise
Saudi Arabia’s death toll from MERS has hit 115.
The Associated Press reports that on Monday, a 45-year-old man and two women in their 50s died from MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) after contracting it in the western Saudia Arabia city Jiddah.
Three additional people now have the disease, health officials report, bringing the Saudi Arabian total to 414 confirmed cases — and just last week, the CDC reported the first case in the U.S. The U.S. victim was isolated right away, and doctors say he will likely be heading home soon. He is currently at Community Hospital in Munster, Ind. The patient lives in Saudi Arabia and works in a hospital. He was visiting family in the U.S. on a planned trip.
MERS is in the same virus family as SARS. It has no vaccine or treatment, and researchers believe the disease may have come from camels. So far, human-to-human transmission has only occurred among people with close contact with infected people.
There’s worry over how much the disease could spread in July when millions of people are expected to visit on Saudi Arabia for Ramadan. In October, millions of Muslims will also gather in the city of Mecca for the Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage. Health officials are worried about transmission.