The World Health Organisation says it has “significantly increased” concern about the deadly virus that emerged in the Middle East but the disease is not a global health emergency.
The virus, which causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, sparks coughing, fever and sometimes fatal pneumonia. It has been reported in more than 500 patients mainly in Saudi Arabia.
It has spread to neighbouring countries, as well as in a few cases to Europe, Asia and the United States, killing about 30 percent of those who are infected.
MERS is a coronavirus from the same family as SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed 800 people worldwide after first appearing in China in 2002.