The New York Times reported that Saudi Arabia reported five more deaths on Wednesday from a mysterious respiratory virus that first appeared there two years ago and has since spread to at least 16 other countries, including the United States. The Saudi Health Ministry said the latest fatalities from infections caused by the virus, known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, brought the total in that country to 157. Saudi Arabia accounts for the vast majority of the 171 deaths and 571 infections from the virus globally. The Saudi announcement came as the World Health Organization said in a statement that its concern about MERS “had significantly increased,” but that there was still “no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission” of the virus.
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