A Saudi citizen died on Wednesday of the MERS coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 59, the country’s Health Ministry reported on its website.

The victim was 60 years old and suffered from chronic illnesses, the ministry said.

The World Health Organization said this week that the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of the MERS coronavirus since September 2012 stood at 180, including 77 deaths.

MERS triggers flu-like symptoms and can lead to kidney failure and severe pneumonia.

Most cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, with smaller concentrations in other Gulf countries. There have also been cases in Europe and North Africa linked to travellers returning from the region.

Around 800 people died of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), also a form of coronavirus, ten years ago.