Since the first cases Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) were first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, the number has reached 900 in the kingdom, according to the latest numbers from the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health (MOH) Friday.


Of the 900 cases, 488 have recovered, 29 infections are active and 383 people have died in Saudi Arabia.

According to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) update on Feb. 16, there has been 983 cases globally.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the following countries with lab-confirmed MERS cases:

Countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula with Cases include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates UAE), Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, Lebanon and Iran, while the next group of countries have reported travel associated MERS cases: United Kingdom (UK), France, Tunisia, Italy, Malaysia, Philippines, Greece, Egypt, United States of America (USA), Netherlands, Algeria, Austria and Turkey.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an illness caused by a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). MERS affects the respiratory system (lungs and breathing tubes). Most MERS patients developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. About 3-4 out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died.