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Friday, May 29, 2015, 17:43

ROK man tests positive for MERS in China

By Agencies

BEIJING - Authorities said on Friday a Republic of Korea (ROK) citizen had tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in

in south China's Guangdong Province, China's first confirmed case, but no symptoms were found in the 38 people who had close contact with him.

China's National Health and Family Planning Commission confirmed the man's diagnosis after laboratory tests on Friday, the agency said in a statement on its website.

The patient, who is in isolation in hospital in the southern city of Huizhou, had a fever and a chest examination showed possible pneumonia, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said. The 44-year-old man, who is a son of another patient who was confirmed last week to have been infected in ROK, had flown from ROK to Hong Kong on Tuesday and had entered Huizhou City via Shenzhen, the Commission said.

The man reported a high temperature of 39.5 degrees Celsius and a chest X-ray revealed lesions on his lungs, indicating possible infectious pneumonia, it said.

The health authorities said 38 people who had had close contact with the victim had not exhibited "unusual" symptoms.

Authorities in ROK said earlier that the man had skipped out of voluntary home quarantine to take a trip to China.

First identified in humans in 2012, MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered China's deadly 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. There is no cure or vaccine.

Last week, ROK's Health Ministry said there were 1,142 cases of MERS in 23 countries and 465 deaths had been reported by May 16. Of the total, 1,117 were in the Middle East.

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