Egypt's announcement on Saturday caused worries about a wider spread of a deadly virus. This becomes a threat to the global travel and tourism industry. Egypt announced that it had confirmed its first case of MERS in a man who had recently returned to the country from Riyadh where he was working.
Saudi Arabia has confirmed 10 more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which kills around a third of sufferers, and said two more people have died from the disease.
Saudi Arabia, where MERS was discovered around two years ago and which remains the country most affected, has now had 323 confirmed cases of MERS, of which 94 have been fatal.
The 127 cases announced since the start of April represent a 65 percent jump in total infections in Saudi Arabia this month.
The new cases included seven in Jeddah, the focal point for the recent outbreak, two in the capital Riyadh and another in Mecca, the Health Ministry said in a statement on its website.
The acting health minister, Adel Fakieh, said on Saturday he had designated three hospitals in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam on the Gulf coast as specialist centres for MERS treatment.
The three hospitals can accommodate 146 patients in intensive care, he said in comments carried by local press on Sunday.
Many Saudis have voiced concerns on social media about government handling of the outbreak, and last week King Abdullah sacked the health minister.
In Jeddah, some people are wearing facemasks and avoiding public gatherings, while pharmacies say sales of hand sanitisers and other hygiene products are soaring.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of these people died.
So far, all the cases have been linked to six countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula. No cases have been identified in the U.S. This virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact. However, the virus has not shown to spread in a sustained way in communities. The situation is still evolving.
The Center of Disease Control is working with partners to better understand the risks of this virus, including the source, how it spreads, and how infections might be prevented. CDC has provided information for travelers and is working with health departments, hospitals, and other partners to prepare for possible cases in the United States.