(Reuters) – Iranian officials say they have confirmed the country’s first two cases of MERS, a deadly virus first reported two years ago in Saudi Arabia, its neighbour on the western side of the Gulf.
“Four suspected cases of new corona virus infection were observed in a family in the province of Kerman. Two of these cases were confirmed in two sisters,” said Mohammad Mahdi Gouya, the director-general of communicable diseases at the Iranian Health Ministry’s Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention.
“One of the sisters is in critical condition and the other is currently receiving treatment under special circumstances,” the ministry’s website quoted him on Monday as saying.
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Related: Pace of new MERS infections in Saudi Arabia slows to four a day: (Reuters) – The rate of infection of a deadly virus in Saudi Arabia has slowed since mid May and Monday was the first day free of new cases in six weeks, figures released by the kingdom’s Health Ministry showed.
In the first two weeks of the month, the daily number of new cases in Saudi Arabia averaged nearly 11, but since May 14 the average number of new confirmed infections has been a little over four a day, the figures show.
Late on Monday the ministry reported its first day free of new confirmed infections since April 13.
The number of new patients had soared across Saudi Arabia, with the total number of confirmed cases jumping to 511 on May 14 from the 173 confirmed in laboratories at the end of March.