Q. How does it kill?

A. Patients usually die from high fevers and pneumonia. The disease appears more likely to kill people with underlying conditions like diabetes, kidney failure and breathing problems. Because MERS is a virus, antibiotics are ineffective, so doctors give oxygen and take other measures to try to keep patients breathing until their own immune systems can defeat the virus. The mortality rate for known cases of MERS exceeds 30 percent, but there may have been many low-grade infections that were never diagnosed, which would lower the mortality rate.