Two Algerians have tested positive for the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, after returning from pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, according to the Algerian health ministry, which confirmed the cases on Saturday but did not give the condition of the men, aged 66 and 59.

Other countries including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the US have also recorded cases, mostly in people who had been to Saudi Arabia.

The virus attacks the respiratory system, causing a lung infection, with patients suffering coughing, breathing difficulties and a temperature. It also causes rapid kidney failure.