Illinois resident contracts deadly Mers virus

A resident in Illinois who came into contact with the first known US case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) has tested positive for the deadly virus.

Mers belongs to the coronavirus family that includes the common cold and Sars, though is far harder to spread among people Credit: REUTERS/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Handout via Reuters

Eighteen more people in Saudi Arabia have contracted the potentially deadly virus, and so far 115 of the 414 people who have tested positive in Saudi Arabia have died, many of them foreign health workers.

The first confirmed case of Mers in the US was discovered in Indiana in early May and the second in Florida on 11 May.

While the risk of infection is very low, the Mers virus kills around a third of people infected and has no cure.