MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012. MERS infections have been recorded in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. It is caused by a coronavirus, a type of virus which includes the common cold and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).
The disease has so far claimed the lives of at least 515 people across the World since September 2012, according to the WHO. In Saudi Arabia, 17 people have died in the past week. The World Health Organization (WHO) attributes many of the recent cases to an outbreak at a hospital in Riyadh.
Around two million Muslims will visit Saudi Arabia for the Hajj next month and so the health officials are legitimately worried.