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More Deaths In Saudi Arabia From MERS Virus

Saudi Arabian officials say three more people have died from the MERS virus, raising the death toll to 163.

The Health Ministry said on May 17 that there have been 520 reported cases of MERS (the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) since it emerged in 2012.

The three latest victims, all women, died on May 16.

The spread of the disease and its outbreak at a hospital in Jeddah led to the sacking of the health minister in April.

MERS has also been reported in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, mostly by people who have visited Saudi Arabia.

MERS is a deadlier version of the SARS virus that appeared in Asia in 2003 and killed hundreds.

MERS causes patients to cough, have high temperatures, breathing problems, and often kidney failure.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters