UN: 22 deaths worldwide from coronavirus

May 23, 2013, 10:54 AM EDT
an electron microscope image of a coronavirus, undated
AP/Health Protection Agency

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says there are now 22 deaths worldwide out of 44 lab-confirmed cases of the new coronavirus.

WHO officials have reported another fatal case of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS, in central Saudi Arabia, but say it is not related to the cluster of cases reported from the country's east.

The U.N. health agency said in a statement Thursday, citing information from Saudi Arabia's health ministry, that the latest fatality is a 63-year-old man with an underlying medical condition who was hospitalized with acute breathing problems five days before he died May 20.

At the WHO's annual meeting in Geneva, agency officials said four of every five cases affect a man and patients' average age is 56.