Asian staff nurses walk towards the King Fahad hospital in Hofuf, 370km east of the Saudi capital Riyadh. Photo: AFP

US moves to limit contagion if Middle East coronavirus Mers arrives via haj

In a war room of sorts in a neatly appointed government building, US officers dressed in crisp uniforms arranged themselves around a U-shaped table and kept their eyes trained on a giant screen. PowerPoint slides ticked through the latest movements of an enemy that recently emerged in Saudi Arabia - a mysterious virus that has killed more than half of the people known to have been infected.