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S. Korea reports 3 more deaths from MERS, 3 new cases

2015/06/18 09:00

SEJONG, June 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported three more deaths from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Thursday, bringing the death toll to 23.

The latest deaths put the fatality rate of the disease in the country at nearly 14 percent, the highest since the country first confirmed its outbreak on May 20, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The country also confirmed three new cases of the viral respiratory disease that brought the total number of people diagnosed with the disease to 165.

The three new cases included two nurses at two local hospitals who helped treat MERS patients.

So far, nearly all transmissions occurred at hospitals, a reason the government continues to claim there is no reason to fear the disease too much.

In a statement released Wednesday, the World Health Organization, also noted there has been no community transmission of the disease in South Korea.

The South Korean government belatedly began releasing the names of hospitals affected by MERS, which reached 84 as of Tuesday.

Along with those diagnosed, 6,729 other people are currently in isolation for possible infection after coming in close contact with MERS patients, according to the health ministry.

Since the first case, 24 people diagnosed with the disease have been discharged from hospitals following complete recoveries, it added.

Out of the 118 still in treatment, 17 were in unstable condition as of Thursday, the ministry said.

bdk@yna.co.kr

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