The Saudi Health Ministry says it has discovered a deadly virus in a camel in the eastern Saudi province of Jiddah.
The ministry's statement released Monday is considered an important development in the search for the origin the deadly illness. There have been more than 60 deaths from the virus known as Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, with all but a handful of the fatalities in Saudi Arabia.
The ministry said a sample from the camel was tested near the home of a patient infected with the virus.
An international research team in August found the mysterious virus that is related to SARS in a bat in Saudi Arabia. They suspected it was perhaps another animal that was spreading the virus directly to humans.