Spain reports 1st case of MERS virus

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Health Ministry says the country has its first case of the new respiratory virus known as MERS and the female victim is believed to have contracted the virus in Saudi Arabia.

A ministry statement says the Moroccan-born Spanish resident was admitted Nov. 1 to a Madrid hospital. She had been in Saudi Arabia in October and was diagnosed there with pneumonia.

The ministry said Thursday the woman is progressing favorably and her case poses no public health threat.

Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, is related to the SARS virus — severe acute respiratory syndrome — which killed some 800 people in 2003.

About 50 died have died from the new virus over the past year, most in Saudi Arabia where the outbreak is centered.

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