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South Korea confirmed five more cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) virus, the health ministry said early on Wednesday, bringing to 30 the total number of cases in the country of the often-deadly illness.
On Tuesday, South Korea reported its first two deaths from Mers since the first confirmed case two weeks ago, fuelling growing worry about the spread of the illness in the country, which has reported the most cases of Mers outside the Middle East.
Of the five new cases, four had been in the same hospital as the first patient, a 68-year-old man who had recently travelled to four countries in the Middle East. The other, a 60-year-old man, caught it from another person infected in the outbreak.
South Korea reported on Tuesday two deaths from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, the first since an outbreak that has affected 25 people in two weeks.
A 58-year-old woman who had had contact with the country's first patient died of acute respiratory failure on Monday, the health ministry said. A 71-year-old man who had been on respiratory support also died.
China said on Friday a 44-year-old South Korean man had tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), China's first confirmed case, but that it had not found any symptoms in 38 people who had been in close contact with him.
Health authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong said it was likely the disease would spread as the patient had taken a bus, crossed a busy border checkpoint from Hong Kong and stayed in a hotel before being taken to hospital.
"As we have said before, the possibility of MERS transferring into Guangdong is very high," He Jianfeng, director for the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control, told reporters.
Hong Kong was on high alert yesterday as 18 people were ordered to undergo quarantine and scores more were being traced after coming into contact with a Korean man who was confirmed as China's first Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) patient.
Three others were admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital with mild respiratory symptoms after coming into contact with the index patient, who flew into Hong Kong from Seoul on Asiana Airlines flight OZ723 on Tuesday and took buses to Sha Tau Kok and Huizhou, Guangdong.
All three tested negative for Mers.
Chinese scientists have worked out several potentially curative antibodies and medicines for the MERS.
These antibodies have shown effectiveness in early experiments in laboratories and will be tested on humans in the next phase.
Hong Kong (CNN)The World Health Organization warned that the MERS outbreak in South Korea is likely to grow, as 1,364 people remain under quarantine and confirmed cases grew to 30 people.
5 things to know about MERS
About three to four out of every 10 people reported with MERS have died. But like many viruses, the people who died have had underlying medical conditions that made them more vulnerable.
The two patients who died in South Korea had COPD and heavy asthma.
MERS has been linked to camels and it's possible that some people became infected after coming into contact with camels, but it's not completely clear yet.
There are no vaccines and no cures.
To prevent MERS, the CDC recommends everyday hygiene practices like hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding personal contact with sick people.
The simplest explanation for the "superspreading event," as scientists call this type of spread, is a lapse in infection control measures at the hospital, Ben Embarek says. The SARS virus, which is distantly related to MERS, is known to have spread widely in 2003 when tubes were placed in patients' airways for mechanical ventilation, a procedure that can cause the virus to become aerosolized. Whether Korea's first patient was intubated is unclear. “We don’t really know what happened during those 3 days,” Ben Embarek says.
Other explanations are being looked at as well. The patient could be carrying a slightly different strain of the virus, or Koreans may be more susceptible to the disease than other populations, Ben Embarek says.
South Korea's Health Ministry confirmed five additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Thursday, raising the total to 35, including two more health care workers who treated infected patients.
Aside from the health care workers, one of the new confirmed cases was in a person who had shared a hospital room with an infected patient and two were in people who had visited the ward at another institution where the country's first confirmed patient had been admitted, the ministry said.
The transmissions occurred before the existing patients were confirmed to be MERS positive, the ministry said. Three health care workers have previously been diagnosed as having MERS.
SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean air force officer stationed at Osan Air Base is under isolation at a military hospital after testing positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, according to media reports.
However, the chief master sergeant is not showing symptoms of the illness, such as fever or cough, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to determine as early as Thursday if he has been infected.
South Korea on Thursday reported its third death from an outbreak of the Mers virus that has infected dozens of people, seen hundreds of schools closed and caused thousands to cancel travel plans.
An 82-year-old man was diagnosed with the Mers virus in a posthumous test after he died in hospital on Wednesday night, the health ministry said in a statement.
He was originally being treated for asthma and pneumonia but was placed under quarantine after other patients in his ward tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers).
South Korea has a massive panic on its hands over Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has so far killed three people and left over 1,600 people in quarantine. Up to 7,000 tourists have canceled plans to visit the country.
South Korea is struggling to stem the outbreak. The authorities have quarantined about 1,600 people, the majority at home, but some in medical institutions, a health ministry official said, as cited by Reuters. At least 1,164 schools had been closed or canceled classes by Thursday, according to the Education Ministry.
SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) — A medical doctor in Seoul came into contact with over 1,000 citizens while infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the city government said Thursday, sparking concerns of the further spread of the deadly virus.
The doctor, who works for a large general hospital in the capital city, attended large-scale events on the weekend, even after he was ordered into quarantine last week for showing suspected symptoms, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
“On Saturday, the doctor attended the union meeting for the reconstruction of an apartment complex in Gaepo-dong, Seoul, which was attended by a total of 1,565 local people,” Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said in an emergency briefing.
“He also attended two meetings of medical societies he is affiliated with on Saturday and Sunday, and visited several other public places,” he added.
South Korea confirmed the death of one more victim of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Friday, the fourth fatality in an outbreak of the often-deadly virus in the country.
The patient was a 76-year-old man and had been the third person to contract the illness after sharing a ward with other MERS patients, the ministry said in a press release.
The ministry said five more people were confirmed to be carrying the disease, bringing the total of South Koreans with MERS to 41 -- the highest number outside the Middle East.
Ten out of the newly infected people were exposed to the virus when they were in the emergency room of Samsung Medical Center in southern Seoul in late May, where a doctor was recently diagnosed with the illness, according to the government. The other four were known to have come in close contact with MERS patients at other hospitals.
"All of the additional cases were infected at hospitals," a government official said. "More cases are likely to be found at Samsung Medical Center, but the rate of fresh infections may be at standstill or decline after this weekend."
There has been no sustained human-to-human transmission, but the worst-case scenario is the virus changes and spreads rapidly, as Sars did in 2002-2003 when it killed about 800 people around the world.
South Korea’s new cases bring the total number globally to about 1,208, based on WHO data, with at least 444 related deaths.
SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea identified all 24 hospitals affected by the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Sunday, saying it wanted to ensure the public's safety with transparent information.
Acting Prime Minister Choi Kyung-hwan disclosed the names of the hospitals at a press conference. The government had earlier identified Pyeongtaek St. Mary's Hospital, in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, where the first MERS case was confirmed, and Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, one of whose doctors has been diagnosed with MERS and apparently contacted over 1,500 people.
The full list included five more hospitals in Pyeongtaek and five more in the nation's capital.
"We're disclosing the hospitals where patients have been diagnosed with MERS, so that we can ensure the people's safety," Choi said. "MERS has been spreading across these hospitals, and it forces us to impose strict control on them. Hospitals with confirmed MERS cases in the future will be identified as well."
SEOUL: South Korea confirmed 23 more cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, the country's health ministry said on Monday, bringing the total to 87 in the country of the often-deadly illness.
Seventeen of the new cases come from the same Seoul hospital emergency room where the country's first patient remained before being confirmed MERS-positive, the ministry said.
South Korea - including imported and exported cases
1) #1149 - IMPORTED CASE/INDEX CASE - Male, 68, onset May 11, hospitalized in South Korea May 15 & May 20,hospitals A,B,C,D, stable condition, travel history to Gulf, Bahrain/Saudi Arabia/UAE/Qatar WHO
2) #1151 - Female, 64, onset May 18, tested positive May 20, wife of case #1149, hospital B, South Korea WHO Released 5/6