RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it’s consulting global experts on how to combat a deadly respiratory virus, as the first case was reported in neighboring Jordan.
Specialists from Germany, France, Britain and the United States are helping tackle the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Mohammed Zamakhshary said in a telephone interview in Riyadh Tuesday.
“Every effort is being made to understand its current behavior and any potential alteration in its behavior,” Zamakhshary said of the coronavirus that causes the illness.
The Ministry of Health said on Monday that 12 more people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of reported cases in the kingdom to 261. At least 93 have died of the disease since it emerged in Saudi Arabia in September 2012, according to the World Health Organization.
In Jordan, a 25-year-old Saudi citizen tested positive for the disease and is in a stable condition, the state-run Petra news agency said Tuesday.
The Saudi health ministry sent text messages to the country’s 30 million residents last week to alert them to the dangers of the disease. The virus doesn’t spread easily between people, and no cases have been observed related to crowds, in schools or at football stadiums, the official Saudi Press Agency cited a ministry official as saying.