Newly discovered virus takes more lives, spreads
May 30, 2013 -- Updated 1112 GMT (1912 HKT)
- Of 49 known infections, 27 have ended in death
- Symptoms are cold-like but are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure
- The WHO calls the MERS-CoV virus "a threat to the entire world"
(CNN) -- A new SARS-like virus recently found in humans continues to spread -- with the worldwide total now at 49, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
Of the 49 known infections with the MERS-CoV virus, 27 have resulted in death, the organization said.
The latest deaths were reported in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi health ministry said Wednesday that three people died from their infections in the country's eastern region.
Health workers infected with coronavirus
How is dangerous new virus spreading?
WHO tracks new virus to Middle East
The virus is "a threat to the entire world," the WHO's general director said Monday.
5 things to know about the coronavirus
It "is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself," Margaret Chan said Monday in her closing remarks at the 66th World Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
Although many of the cases have occurred on the Arabian Peninsula, people have died of the infection elsewhere.
However, "all of the European cases have had a direct or indirect connection to the Middle East," the WHO said earlier this month. But "in France and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among close contacts who had not been to the Middle East but had been in contact with a traveler recently returned from the Middle East."
On Tuesday, a patient died in France after having contracted the virus during a trip to the Middle East, the WHO reported.
Coronaviruses cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as well as a variety of animal diseases.
However, the new virus is not SARS.
The WHO recently gave it a more specific name: Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.
It acts like a cold virus and attacks the respiratory system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. But symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.
Health officials do not yet know much about how the virus spreads, which makes it hard for scientists to prevent infections, Chan said.
The WHO is calling for the world to pull together its resources to study and tackle the virus.
New virus is a 'threat to the entire world'
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT)
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories