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Experts: New Virus in Saudi Arabia May Be More Deadly than SARS

Washington (Washington Post) — A new virus responsible for an outbreak of respiratory illness in the Middle East may be more deadly than SARS, according to a team of infectious disease specialists who recently investigated a set of cases in Saudi Arabia.

Of 23 confirmed cases in April, 15 people died — an “extremely high” fatality rate of 65 percent, according to Johns Hopkins senior epidemiologist Trish Perl, a member of the team that analyzed the spread of the virus through four Saudi hospitals.

Saudi officials said that as of Wednesday, 49 people have contracted the disease and 32 have died.