By Menna Ahmed and Gulsen Topcu
Outbreaks of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) have killed 23 people in Saudi Arabia over a roughly four-month span, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday.
The deaths occurred between Jan. 12 and May 31, the WHO announced on its website.
Those who died were among the 75 people infected by the coronavirus during the period.
The deaths were in the Hafer Albatin region, Riyadh, Jeddah and Najran region.
As of May 31, the global number of laboratory-confirmed cases of the coronavirus reported since 2012 totaled 2,220, including 1,844 cases reported from Saudi Arabia.
With the latest figures, a total of 790 people have died from the disease since September 2012.
MERS, which occurs in Middle East countries, especially in Saudi Arabia, primarily infects the lungs and may cause damage to the kidneys and other organs. It is transmitted by close contact with infected persons.
There are no preventive inoculations or effective medications against the virus.