Saturday, June 6, 2015

This time, it's South Korea reeling from 5 reported deaths from MERS

SEOUL-- South Korea reported its fourth death from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Friday and confirmed five new
cases of the disease, bringing the total number of people diagnosed with the disease to 41.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, a 76-year-old man died Thursday while undergoing treatment for the viral disease at a state-designated hospital.

The person, whose identity was not revealed for privacy reasons, was diagnosed on May 21 after coming in close contact with the country's first-ever MERS patient, who reportedly caught the disease while traveling to the Middle East in mid-April.

With the latest death, the fatality rate of the disease in South Korea rose to 9.8 percent from around 5 percent, Korean news agency,Yonhap, reported.

MERS is a viral respiratory illness that had a very high fatality rate of over 40 percent globally before the outbreak in South Korea, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most people infected with MERS develop severe acute respiratory illness, including a fever, a cough and shortness of breath. There currently is no vaccine or treatment for the disease.
South Korean Health Minister Moon Hyung-pyo explains additional government measures to eradicate MERS in a press briefing at the government complex in Sejong on June 5, 2015. -end-

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