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Saudi Arabia says one more dead from MERS coronavirus

RIYADH (Reuters) - One more person has died and two more have fallen ill in Saudi Arabia from the new SARS-like coronavirus, MERS-CoV, the Saudi Health Ministry said on Friday.

Saudi Arabia has been the country most affected by the respiratory-system virus, with 46 cases, of whom 28 have died, data from the ministry showed.

The latest death brings the worldwide death toll to 33, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The virus, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, has spread from the Gulf to France, Britain and Germany. The WHO has called it the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

It is a distant relative of the virus that triggered the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that swept the world in late 2003 and killed 775 people.

The origin of the MERS virus is still unclear. So far, it appears to spread between people only when there is close, prolonged contact.

(Reporting by Angus McDowall; Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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