South Korea Cancels Classes And Desperately Tries To Contain MERS Outbreak

Credit: Morguefile.com

Credit: Morguefile.com

MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, has broken out in South Korea.

It’s the largest outbreak outside of the Arabian Peninsula.

As the numbers currently stand, at least 30 people have contracted the virus with two already dead.

The outbreak began with a 68-year-old man who brought the virus back from his trip to the Middle East earlier in May. The biggest issue, however, was that he went to four different hospitals before he was diagnosed with MERS, probably infecting dozens of other people along the way.

Since May 20, over 1,300 people have been quarantined for potential infection.

There is no known cure or vaccine, and the virus comes from the same family of coronavirus as SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the virus that killed almost 800 people worldwide between 2002 and 2003.

Over 200 schools have closed in the Gyeonggi Province around Seoul, in an effort to prevent the infection from spreading more, especially since the virus spreads through close contact.

Even China is on alert now, placing about 60 people under quarantine since one South Korean man ignored the fact that he was quarantined and flew to Hong Kong, bringing the virus with him.

The World-Health Organization (WHO) calculated that MERS has a higher death rate than SARS, with a figure close to 38%. According to the WHO, the symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and eventually, respiratory failure.

The organization says that it continues to be in contact with officials in South Korea to stay up-to-date on the spread of the virus.

 

 

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