POSTED: Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 9:30am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 9:34am
CNN — A 14-year-old Saudi girl is the latest confirmed case of the sometimes deadly MERS virus, the WHO said Wednesday.
To date, the World Health Organization has been informed of 54 cases, including 30 deaths.
The Saudi health ministry told the agency that the girl became ill on May 29. She is in stable condition.
Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS, acts like a cold virus and attacks the respiratory system, the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. But symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.
Coronaviruses cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as well as a variety of animal diseases.
Health officials do not yet know much about how the newly discovered virus spreads, which makes it hard for scientists to prevent infections, Chan said.
The WHO is calling for the world to pull together its resources to study and tackle the virus.