A 5-year old Egyptian child has been quarantined for suspicion of contracting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), commonly known as coronavirus. "The child returned from Saudi Arabia in early May, but he was admitted into hospital on Friday," Ahmed Nour, a senior Health Ministry official from the central Beni Sueif province, said. The child started to suffer pneumonia and a high body temperature on Wednesday, according to Nour.

Egypt reported its first coronavirus case on April 26 when a 27-year-old engineer contracted the virus after returning from Saudi Arabia.

MERS, for which no cure is currently known, destroys the lungs and kidneys. Along with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, MERS has also been reported in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Jordan, and Oman.

It is presumed that long-term physical contact with infected persons can lead to contagion.