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Monday, June 8, 2015

South Korea MERS outbreak: 6 dead; 2,500 quarantined; 1,800 schools closed - Updates June 08, 2015


 From the Website of CNN NEWS

South Korea MERS outbreak: 6 dead; 2,500 quarantined; 1,800 schools closed

 South Korean hospital workers set a separated emergency center for MERS cases at the National Medical Center in Seoul on June 1, 2015. South Korean President Park Geun-Hye scolded health officials on June 1, over their response to an outbreak of the MERS virus, as the number of infections climbed to 18, with nearly 700 under observation. Major South Korean hospitals are setting up special MERS clinic rooms to fight the disease. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)Outside of Saudi Arabia where the Middle East respiratory syndrome - or MERS - was discovered, the country that's been hit hardest has been South Korea. 
And the picture there grows dismal every day.

On Monday, South Korea reported its sixth death from MERS, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 87.

More than 2,500 people remain quarantined, either at home or in health facilities. And more than 1,800 schools remain closed.

Young and old

The latest death is that of an 80-year-old man who was receiving treatment at a hospital in Daejeon, South Korea's fifth largest city. 

Among the new cases is that of a teenager, the first school-aged person to be infected, the health ministry said. 

 MERS, which surfaced three years ago, is not well-understood. Because the virus is still fairly new, doctors and scientists do not know the exact source or mode of its transmission. 

 MERS spreads from close contact with an ill person, such as living with or caring for them, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Far from alone

The South Korean outbreak had its first case on May 20. The vast majority of the cases are hospital clusters, and the deaths were among people with pre-existing health conditions.
Experts from the World Health Organization who have dealt with MERS are coming to South Korea to assess the pattern of the virus spread and to look at public health response efforts.

The outbreak in South Korea has been the largest outside Saudi Arabia -- where the virus was discovered.
But South Korea is far from alone in the battle. As of Wednesday, 1,179 cases of MERS have been confirmed in 25 countries, WHO said. Two of those cases were in the United States -- both were health workers who lived in Saudi Arabia.

CNN Website

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