- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 7, 2013

Saudi health officials say two more people have died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the number of deadly cases to 38 in the kingdom at the center of the outbreak.

The two infected died on Saturday, and tests on 77 suspected cases yielded only three positive cases, two of them in Riyadh, officials said, according to the Associated Press.

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, referred to as MERS, began its outbreak in Al Ahsaa in a health-care facility in April 2013, the International Business Times reported. The new virus is related to SARS, which killed some 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003.

Most of the MERS deaths came from Saudi Arabia. The latest two deaths were of a 75-year-old man in the eastern region of Al Ahsaa and a 63-year-old woman in Riyadh, the International Business Times said.

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