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S. Korea reports 2 more MERS deaths with 3 new cases

2015/06/22 09:00

SEJONG, June 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported two more deaths from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Monday, with three new cases, bringing the total number of people diagnosed with the disease here to 169.

The new cases, including a patient from Seoul's Samsung Medical Center, came from among those who were already suspected of infection after coming in close contact with MERS patients, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The ministry maintains that no community transmission of the disease has occurred here with nearly all transmissions taking place in hospitals.

A nurse wearing a protective suit works at a negative pressure isolation sickroom at National Medical Center in Seoul on June 19, 2015, to take care of a patient suffering from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). (Yonhap)A nurse wearing a protective suit works at a negative pressure isolation sickroom at National Medical Center in Seoul on June 19, 2015, to take care of a patient suffering from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). (Yonhap) As of Monday, the number of people in isolation for suspected cases came to 3,833, down from 4,035 on the previous day. So far, some 9,300 people have been released from isolation after they showed no symptoms of MERS for more than the known maximum incubation period of 14 days for the disease.

Currently, the country's death toll from the disease is 27. In South Korea, the fatality rate remained at around 15.7 percent.

The latest MERS-related death was a 97-year-old man who had existing health conditions, including cancer.

The health ministry earlier said over 90 percent of all fatalities here involved people of old age or those with existing health problems that were apparently worsened by MERS.

MERS is a viral respiratory disease that was first found in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Until the outbreak here, only about 1,100 cases had been reported in some 20 countries throughout the world, while the fatality rate of the disease had been tallied at over 40 percent.

sam@yna.co.kr

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