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Friday, May 29, 2015, 17:44

MERS infects 10 in South Korea

By Agencies
 MERS infects 10 in South Korea
Factfile on the global outbreak of the MERS virus with data tabulated till June 3, 2014.

GENEVA/SEOUL - Ten people in South Korea are confirmed as having the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, transmitted by a traveller, but there has been no sustained human-to-human spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

The United Nations health agency said that it was not recommending screening of passengers or that travel or trade restrictions be imposed on South Korea due to the outbreak.

"The virus is not behaving differently, it is direct transmission and not sustained human-to-human-transmission. They are all related to the same case who came travelling from the Middle East," WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a briefing.

Two new cases were confirmed positive for the deadly viral disease, including a nurse who treated the first patient and a male who was hospitalized at the same ward with the patient zero, according to the S Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The eighth case was the 30-year-old nurse who treated the patient zero. She had been initially tested negative on Tuesday, but an additional test confirmed her positive for the MERS corona virus Thursday.

The ninth patient was a 56-year-old man who shared the same ward with the first patient.

The number of infectees rose rapidly to nine just nine days after the patient zero was confirmed positive on May 20.

The first patient was an unidentified 68-year-old male who traveled to the Middle Eastern region before returning to South Korea on May 4. His wife became the second patient who contracted the deadly virus.

The third infectee was a 76-year-old man who shared a hospital room with the first patient, and his daughter who attended to the third patient became the fourth.

The doctor, who examined the patient zero earlier this month, became the fifth. The sixth case was a 71-year-old male who was hospitalized at the same ward with the patient zero, and the seventh was a 28-year-old nurse who treated the first patient.

The MERS is a respiratory illness caused by a new type of corona-virus. The first case was found in Saudi Arabia in 2012. There is no vaccine or treatment for the disease, with a fatality rate of 40.7 percent.

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