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Killer Virus in Cairo: No Cure

The first case of the deadly MERS virus has been discovered in Egypt.

A deadly virus capable of wiping out millions has hit Egypt as experts scramble to find a cure. The killer MERS virus, which originated in Saudi Arabia, has reached Egypt, the Ministry of Health claims. The news marks the first time that the ddisease, which has already caused almost 100 deaths, has arrived here.

The 27-year-old patient, from the Nile Delta, is being treated for pneumonia at a Cairo hospital and is in a stable condition. Now experts must scramble to find a cure before the disease spreads across the country. The man is thought to have been living in the Saudi capital Riyadh, where he contracted the virus. Latest figures suggest that as many as one in four cases are spread between humans sparking fears that the virus could now wipe out thousands in Egypt.

The news comes just days after the World Health Organization in Geneva said on Friday it was “concerned” about the rising MERS numbers. University of Minnesota disease expert Michael Osterholm claims that the problem may be set to spiral out of control. "It took more than two years to reach the first 100 cases of MERS. Now, in just the past two weeks, we’ve had 100 cases … There’s a major change occurring that cannot just be attributed to better case detection,” he said. “When humans readily transmit to humans, that’s what will cause a worldwide outbreak. We are very concerned that … with what we’ve seen over the past two weeks … we may be at that point now.”

Saudi Arabia, which has been hardest-hit by the MERS virus, announced on Friday it had discovered 14 more cases in the Kingdom, bringing the total number to 313. A Saudi Health Ministry statement said the new cases had been reported in Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah in the past 24 hours. Authorities had also registered five more deaths due to the virus.