The Seattle Times, 04/11/2014
Saudi health authorities said Wednesday that 11 people in the western city of Jiddah have contracted the Middle East respiratory syndrome, resulting in two recent deaths and prompting officials to temporarily shutter the emergency unit at one of the city's biggest hospitals. Among those who tested positive for MERS was an employee at Jiddah's King Fahd hospital. The potentially fatal disease is related to SARS and was first identified in 2012 in the Middle East, where most cases since have been diagnosed. Officials at King Fahd hospital began referring incoming patients to other medical facilities on Tuesday so the emergency ward could be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, according to the kingdom's health ministry. Authorities said they expected to reopen the emergency ward at the hospital within 24 hours. A nurse at another hospital in the city had also earlier contracted the virus. The deaths bring to at least 66 the number of people who died in the kingdom, which is at the center of the MERS outbreak.