Jordan MERS coronavirus death toll rises

A 69-year-old man who suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure is the later victim of the deadly virus

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A 69-year-old man has died in Jordan after being infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, a health ministry official said over the weekend.

"The man, who suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure, died in hospital on Wednesday," Sultan Kasrawi of the ministry's communicable disease department, told AFP Sunday.

"He died five days after he was admitted to hospital."

Kasrawi said the latest death brings to six the number of fatalities in Jordan from MERS since it first emerged in 2012.

MERS is considered a deadlier but less transmissible cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus that appeared in Asia in 2003 and killed hundreds of people, mostly in China.

Like SARS, it appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering coughing, breathing difficulties and a temperature. But MERS differs in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.

MERS has killed 187 people in Saudi Arabia since it first emerged in 2012, and hundreds more have been infected.

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