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S. Korea sees no additional cases of MERS for 2nd consecutive day

2015/06/29 09:04

SEJONG, June 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported no additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) for a second consecutive day Monday, possibly indicating that the outbreak of the acute respiratory illness that has claimed 32 lives here so far is on the wane.

The death toll also remained unchanged from the previous day, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

It marked the first time in over a month that the country had reported no additional infection cases for two straight days.

South Korea reported its first-ever MERS case on May 20. As of Monday, 182 people have been diagnosed with the potentially deadly disease.

Out of those diagnosed, 57 still remain hospitalized while about a dozen of them are currently in critical condition.

The remaining 93 have been discharged from hospitals following complete recoveries. The number increased from 91 on Sunday.

Health ministry officials noted no new infections for two consecutive days may indicate that the outbreak may be weakening.

However, 2,682 people still remain in isolation as suspected cases as of Monday. The number increased slightly from 2,562 on the previous day.

Since the country reported its first case, a total of 15,818 people have been subject to quarantine or isolation, mostly at their own homes, for possible infection after coming in close contact with MERS patients.

Over 13,000 of them have been released after they showed no symptoms of MERS for more than the known incubation period of 14 days for the disease.

MERS is a viral respiratory disease first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Only some 1,100 cases had been reported globally with the fatality rate of the disease tallied at over 40 percent until the outbreak here as there currently is no vaccine or treatment for the disease.

In South Korea, the fatality rate of the disease remains at 17.6 percent.

bdk@yna.co.kr

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