MERS claims three lives in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Sep 7 (IANS) Saudi Arabia on Monday confirmed three more deaths from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in the capital Riyadh, taking the total toll to 518.

Seven new cases were also reported from Riyadh, taking the total number of infections to 1,216 since the outbreak in Saudi Arabia in June 2012, Arab News reported.

The latest victims were two expatriates aged 44 and 57 and a 67-year-old Saudi national, the health ministry said.

The ministry has launched an intensive awareness campaign to warn people of the hazards associated with the virus and to educate them about how transmission of the virus can be prevented.

As a precautionary measure, basic rules of personal hygiene should be followed irrespective of the age group. Such rules should include washing hands frequently and covering nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing.

Health officials first reported the disease in Saudi Arabia in September 2012. Through retrospective investigations, officials later identified that the first known case of MERS occurred in Jordan in April 2012.

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