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Published On: Mon, May 27th, 2013

Saudi Arabia reports another coronavirus death, 23rd fatality globally

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health has reported the death of one patient of the previously novel coronavirus infected cases in Al-Ahsa governorate, according to a Ministry of Health news release May 26.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

The case is an 81-year-old woman who was identified as part of the ongoing investigation into an outbreak that began in a health care facility since the beginning of April 2013. This case was reported to the World Health Organization last May 18.

Saudi health officials report that the elderly woman suffered from chronic kidney failure, as well as other chronic diseases.

The woman is the 23rd death attributed to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), or novel coronavirus globally. 18 of the deaths have been reported from Saudi Arabia.

The number of cases remain unchanged at 44 laboratory-confirmed cases worldwide, with 30 cases being reported from the Saudi Kingdom.

The current case-fatality rate is above 50%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says coronaviruses are common viruses that most people get some time in their life. Human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses.

Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are three main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta and gamma, and a fourth provisionally-assigned new group called delta coronaviruses.

Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid 1960s. The five coronaviruses that can infect people are: alpha coronaviruses 229E and NL63 and beta coronaviruses OC43, HKU1, and SARS-CoV, the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The novel coronavirus was identified in 2012 as the cause of respiratory illness in people. Investigations are being done to figure out the source of the novel coronavirus and how it spreads.

After being referred to as the novel coronavirus and several other names since appearing last year, earlier this week, it was published in the Journal of Virology, the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has decided to call the new coronavirus “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV).

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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