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Three more coronavirus deaths in Saudi Arabia: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) - Three more people have died in Saudi Arabia from the new SARS-like coronavirus, bringing the worldwide death toll to 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Saudi health officials also told the WHO of a new case in the eastern province of al-Ahsa, increasing the number of cases worldwide to 50, WHO spokesman Glenn Thomas told reporters at a news conference in Geneva.

The latest deaths were also in al-Ahsa, Thomas said.

Saudi Arabia has been the most affected by the virus, with 39 cases and 25 deaths so far, according to data from the WHO, a United Nations agency.

The virus, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, has spread from the Gulf to France, Britain and Germany. The WHO has called it the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

It is from the same viral family that triggered the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that swept the world in late 2003 and killed 775 people.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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