The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has claimed one more life in Saudi Arabia, bringing the death toll from the virus across the globe to 48, with the Kingdom alone accounting for 42 deaths.
A Health Ministry official identified the victim as a 38-year-old Saudi citizen from Hafar Al-Batin.
One more person has contracted the virus locally, bringing the number of MERS cases in the Kingdom to 84.
He was suffering from severe pneumonia and respiratory failure at the time of admission to the hospital.
The other person, who was diagnosed as carrying the virus, is a 55-year-old resident of Madinah.
He is also suffering from chronic renal failure and is now undergoing treatment at the ICU in a hospital in Madinah.
Seven people have been reported infected with MERS in the past 12 days and three of them have succumbed to the virus.
One of the deaths reported earlier was that of a 51-year-old man suffering from cancer and chronic diseases in Riyadh when he was diagnosed with MERS.
The other victim was a 54-year-old citizen also suffering from chronic diseases.
Two other cases of the infection were reported in the southwestern region of Asir, including a 31-year-old man with chronic illnesses and a 55-year-old who came in contact with an infected person, the ministry said, adding that both were undergoing treatment.
Two cases were found in Riyadh on Wednesday.
The first was a 50-year-old Saudi woman afflicted with cancer and other chronic diseases.
The second case was that of a 70-year-old resident with several chronic diseases. Both are in ICU.When a new disease outbreak hits a country, the embarrassed authorities are usually keen to evade any whisper of blame for it. So when H5N1 erupts in some Indonesian or Vietnamese village, the ignorant villagers are responsible for being ignorant. And when a Saudi comes down with MERS, the only personal detail we learn is that the poor wretch also has cancer or malfunctioning kidneys.
Yes, it's important that MERS and similar diseases tend to flourish in sick or ignorant people, but it would be more helpful to know where the patient was, when the disease onset occurred, and what this patient might have in common with other patients. We can save the blame for another time.