RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned those dealing with camels to take precautions as the number of infections in the kingdom from a respiratory illness linked to the animals increases further.
The Ministry of Agriculture urged people who come in contact with camels to "exercise caution and follow preventive measures," according to a report from the official Saudi Press Agency.
It said the ministry issued the advice after scientific studies commissioned by the Health Ministry proved a connection between camels and the virus that causes the Middle East respiratory syndrome.
The guidance came after the country reported six more deaths from MERS on Saturday.
A total of 139 people have died and 480 have been confirmed to have contracted the virus in Saudi Arabia since it was discovered in 2012.
MERS belongs to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses that include both the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed about 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003. MERS can cause symptoms including fever, breathing problems, pneumonia, and kidney failure.