Riyadh: A 58-year-old Saudi man and a 50-year-old male expatriate died Thursday of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) in Saudi Arabia’s Hail and Khamis Mushayt, respectively, the Health Ministry said Friday.
Two new cases, female expatriates aged 38 and 42, were diagnosed with the virus in Dawmat Al-Jandal in Al-Jouf province. Earlier this week, the ministry reported nine new cases: Seven in Dawmat Al-Jandal and the others in Madinah and Khamis Mushayt.
Since July 2014, 1,694 cases of MERS have been recorded throughout the Kingdom, including 688 deaths. There are currently 11 patients undergoing medical treatment in various hospitals.
A senior health official said people should stay away from MERS-infected or suspected patients since it is transmitted via droplets through coughing and sneezing.
People have been advised to wear a protective mask over the nose and mouth in crowded places, and follow basic health etiquette when sneezing or coughing. Common symptoms of the disease include coughing, shortness of breath, congestion in the nose and throat, and diarrhea.
In advanced cases, the patient can have serious complications such as pneumonia, which may lead to death. The ministry recommends that people abide by basic health guidelines, including washing hands well with soap or sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing.