Eight new MERS deaths take Saudi toll to 102: ministry

Agence France Presse

Posted at Apr 28 2014 08:18 AM | Updated as of Apr 28 2014 07:06 PM

JEDDAH - The Saudi health ministry announced eight new deaths from the MERS virus on Sunday taking the kingdom's death toll from the disease to 102.

A full 39 of the deaths have been this month, sparking growing public concern about the virus that first emerged in April 2012.

Among the latest deaths was a nine-month-old infant, the ministry said.

The number of recorded infections in the kingdom has risen to 339, it added.

Among them were four medical staff at a single hospital in Tabuk in the northwest, two doctors -- one Egyptian and one Syrian -- and two Philippine nurses.

Panic over the spread of the virus among medical staff in the western city of Jeddah led to the temporary closure of a main hospital's emergency room.

At least four doctors at Jeddah's King Fahd Hospital resigned earlier this month after refusing to treat MERS patients for fear of infection.