Jordanian government urges caution as 5th MERS death reported

May 12--AMMAN -- As Jordan registered its fifth Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus-related fatality on Sunday, health authorities called on the public to take the necessary precautions since there is still no medication for the virus.

Mohammad Abdullat, director of the Health Ministry's communicable diseases directorate, said the ministry, along with other private medical facilities, is taking extra safety measures to protect the public, but urged people to be careful.

The ministry official warned that people, whether young or old, with or without a medical history, should "be alert", as the latest fatality was a 28-year old man.

The man, who was a nurse at a private hospital, was diagnosed with MERS on Saturday, the ministry said, adding that he dealt with another MERS patient.

According to ministry figures, nine cases of MERS have been registered in the Kingdom since 2012.

Of the five deaths registered in Jordan, three were medics.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Viruses in this family also cause a number of animal diseases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) website.

is a strain of coronavirus that was first identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. "Our understanding of the virus and the disease it causes is continuing to evolve," WHO said.

Meanwhile, and despite the expected increase in the number of tourists and the return of expatriates in the summer, the ministry will not adopt special measures or conduct medical checkups on visitors at border crossings or airports, according to a health official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

WHO said it would hold an emergency meeting next week in Geneva on the deadly MERS virus.

So far, the virus has killed more than 130 people in Saudi Arabia, according to news reports.

Cases have also been reported in Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Oman, Tunisia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain.