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(LEAD) Lung condition of S. Korean MERS patient in China has not worsened

2015/06/04 14:36

HONG KONG/BEIJING, June 4 (Yonhap) -- The lung condition of a South Korean MERS patient in China has not worsened and his vital signs were relatively stable, according to Chinese health authorities Thursday.

The 44-year-old Korean man flew to Hong Kong on May 26, a day after his father was diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus in South Korea, and subsequently went to the southern Chinese province of Guangdong by bus. He has been treated under quarantine at the Huizhou Municipal Central Hospital in Guangdong.

In a statement posted on Wednesday evening, the Guangdong Health and Family Planning Commission said that an X-ray test showed the lung condition of the man had not "worsened from before."

He had shown symptoms of cough and fever, but his "vital signs were relatively stable" and his appetite was improving, according to the statement.

As of Wednesday, his body temperature stood at 38.4 degrees C, it said.

In China, airport authorities have been strengthening the monitoring of the temperatures of passengers who are returning from South Korea and the Middle East.

Earlier on Thursday, South Korea confirmed five more MERS cases, bringing the total to 35.

This week, South Korea reported its first two deaths from MERS and public fears are growing as the number of MERS patients has been increasing on a daily basis.

In Hong Kong, health authorities have strengthened their surveillance against MERS, advising people to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel.

"In view of the evolving MERS situation in Korea, we strongly advise the public to avoid unnecessary visits to all health care facilities in Korea, and avoid participating in medical exchange activities in Korea," Leung Ting-hung, controller of the Center for Health Protection in Hong Kong, said in a statement.

A 69-year-old man who traveled from South Korea was found to have a fever when he arrived at the Hong Kong airport on Wednesday, but he tested negative for the virus, Hong Kong's health department said in a separate statement.