Date
24 March 2017
A couple wearing protective masks walk in the popular student area of Hongdae in Seoul. Photo: AFP
A couple wearing protective masks walk in the popular student area of Hongdae in Seoul. Photo: AFP

S Korean MERS death toll rises to 5 as more people infected

Five people have now died in South Korea of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

The government said Sunday 14 more people have been confirmed as having been infected, The Wall Street Journal reported, bringing the total to 64.

The outbreak is the largest outside the Middle East, where most infections have occurred since the virus was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

The latest fatality was a 75-year-old man who was found after he died to have had MERS, the Health Ministry said.

There is no vaccine or medical treatment for the virus, which the World Health Organization says has a death rate of about 27 percent.

However, in the first case of a possible recovery from the virus in the latest outbreak, one person diagnosed with MERS was discharged from a hospital Friday after her body temperature returned to normal and test results came back negative, the government said.

On Sunday, the government released the names of 24 hospitals where MERS patients have received treatment. Of the 14 new cases of infection, 10 are at a large hospital in Seoul.

Almost 2,000 people are under quarantine in hospitals and their homes to prevent the spread of the virus.

Experts say MERS can be transmitted only through close contact with a person infected with the virus.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RA/

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe