September 2, 2014
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry says five people have died and two other patients are in critical condition with confirmed cases of a new respiratory virus related to SARS.
The ministry said on Thursday that it had informed the World Health Organization of the seven new cases of novel coronavirus.
The germ is from a family of viruses that cause the common cold, as well as SARS - the severe acute respiratory syndrome that killed some 800 people, mostly in Asia, in a 2003 epidemic.
Since September 2012, WHO has been informed of 24 confirmed cases. Sixteen of the patients died.
The new virus was first identified last year in the Middle East and several of the people infected had all traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan.