Korea Reports 2 More MERS Deaths with 3 New Cases

South Korea reported two more deaths from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Monday, with three new cases, bringing the total number of people diagnosed with the disease here to 169.

The new cases, including a patient from Seoul’s Samsung Medical Center, came from among those who were already suspected of infection after coming in close contact with MERS patients, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The ministry maintains that no community transmission of the disease has occurred here with nearly all transmissions taking place in hospitals.

As of Monday, the number of people in isolation for suspected cases came to 3,833, down from 4,035 on the previous day. So far, some 9,300 people have been released from isolation after they showed no symptoms of MERS for more than the known maximum incubation period of 14 days for the disease.

However, the ministry said of the three new cases, one patient was diagnosed after nearly three weeks following his/her alleged contact with a MERS patient.


The ministry did not say whether this will immediately lead to an extension in the period of isolation for suspected cases.

Currently, the country’s death toll from the disease is 27. In South Korea, the fatality rate remained at around 15.7 percent.

The latest MERS-related deaths included a 97-year-old man who had existing health conditions, including cancer.

The health ministry earlier said over 90 percent of all fatalities here involved people of old age or those with existing health problems that were apparently worsened by MERS.

As of Monday, 50 people previously diagnosed with the disease have been discharged from hospital following complete recoveries, according to the ministry.

MERS is a viral respiratory disease that was first found in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Until the outbreak here, only about 1,100 cases had been reported in some 20 countries throughout the world, while the fatality rate of the disease had been tallied at over 40 percent. (Yonhap)

(Source: KoreaTimes.co.kr)

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