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Oman reports first death linked to MERS virus

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MUSCAT, Oman (AP) — Oman says officials are widening health checks following the country’s first death blamed on a SARS-like virus that has been centered in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Oman’s Health Ministry said on Monday that teams would conduct investigations, including checking for signs of the virus in people who came in contact with the deceased 68-year-old man. His death was reported on Sunday by the official Oman News Agency.

There have been more than 60 deaths from the virus, known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, with all but a handful of the fatalities in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia announced a death from the virus Sunday.

Reuters says the Oman Observer, a local publication, is reporting that the man from Oman became sick after visiting someone from outside the country.

The virus is related to the SARS coronavirus that killed about 800 people in 2003.

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