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Two new infections from the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus have been detected in Jordan – one a Saudi man and the other a Jordanian medic who was treating him – bringing to 7 the total cases in the country. Since 2012, when the virus emerged in Saudi Arabia, Jordan has reported 3 deaths from it. As of April 26, the World Health Organization reported 261 laboratory-confirmed cases of infections, 93 of which resulted in death, worldwide. Two Filipinos have died from the virus. The Philippines’ health department – which recently had to trace and examine around 400 returning workers from the United Arab Emirates for the MERS virus – says the country needs a national ID system to help authorities track possible carriers faster. MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003, infectig 8,273 people, 9% of whom died. There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for MERS, a severe respiratory disease with a mortality rate of more than 40% that experts are still struggling to understand.
Read the latest on Jordan’s cases here.