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Sars-like virus kills 2 in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, May 7, 2013

A new Sars-like virus has killed two more people in Saudi Arabia, taking the number of deaths from the coronavirus that the Kingdom has announced to seven in one week.

“Three infections by the new coronavirus have been registered during the past days in Al Ahsaa. Two of the victims have died while the third is in a stable condition,” state news agency SPA said.

Last Wednesday, the ministry announced five Saudis recently died of the Sars-like virus and that two more were being treated in an intensive care unit.

The WHO said that three new cases of the virus were detected in Saudi Arabia. The outbreak has occurred in Al Ahsaa, which is near Bahrain and Qatar.

The latest deaths bring the virus death toll to 18, of which 11 have been reported in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, four more people in China have died from a new strain of bird flu, bringing to 31 the number of deaths from the mysterious H7N9 virus, with the number of infections rising by two to 129, according to Chinese health authorities.

Among the deaths, two occurred in the eastern province of Jiangsu; one was from eastern Zhejiang; while another was from central Anhui, based on a Reuters analysis of the data provided by Chinese health authorities on Monday.

The government did not provide more details of the victims.

Chinese health authorities said two new infections were reported in the eastern coastal province of Fujian. The virus, which was mostly concentrated in the region around the commercial capital of Shanghai, spread to Fujian in late April.

The Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it has no evidence that the new strain of bird flu, which was first detected in patients in China in March, is easily transmissible between humans.

Chinese scientists have confirmed that the H7N9 strain has been transmitted to humans from chickens. But the WHO has said 40 per cent of people infected with H7N9 appear to have had no contact with poultry.

The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the current strain of bird flu cannot spark a pandemic in its current form - but he added that there is no guarantee it will not mutate and cause a serious pandemic. – TradeArabia News Service & Reuters




Tags: Saudi Arabia | China | Beijing | Bird flu | Riyadh |

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