ALGIERS: An Algerian man in his fifties has died of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome ( MERS) virus, the first such fatality in the country, the health ministry announced on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). The 59-year-old victim was among the first two cases of the deadly MERS virus to be discovered in Algeria late last month. Both men had just returned from a pilgrimage to Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia, where most cases and deaths from the disease have been reported. The unnamed man died after 11 days in hospital in the town of Tlemcen, 600 kilometers west of Algiers, following a deterioration of his vital functions overnight Monday. The condition of the second confirmed MERS case, a 66-year-old man hospitalized in Kolea near Algiers, is improving, the health ministry said.