Iran has recorded its first two cases of the potentially fatal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Iranian media quote Health Ministry official Mohammad Mahdi Gouya as saying the virus that causes MERS was confirmed in two sisters in the southern province of Kerman. One is reported to be in critical condition.
MERS-CoV particles as seen by negative stain electron microscopy. Virions contain characteristic club-like projections emanating from the viral membrane.
Gouya said there are also two other suspected cases from the same family as the sisters.
They are believed to have been infected by a pilgrim returning from Saudi Arabia.
The vast majority of MERS cases worldwide since the virus was first reported two years ago have been in Saudi Arabia.
About 600 people have had the illness and about 175 people have died.
The virus causes coughing, fever, and sometimes fatal pneumonia.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP
Copyright (c) 2014 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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