S Korea MERS cases reach 175 with three new diagnosis

South Korea reports three new MERS cases, death toll reaches 27 in outbreak that still largest outside Saudi Arabia

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The South Korean Ministry of Health reported three more new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Tuesday, taking the total number to 175 in the country, while another struggling Thailand announces no new cases.

The death toll has reached 27 in South Korea, where the outbreak was first confirmed on May 20, most of them were elderly patients.

The country’s Health Ministry reported its first MERS case on May 20 with the entrance of a 68-year-old South Korean man who travelled to Bahrain for farming related business on April 18 and the cases rose rapidly.

However, the ministry said on Friday that the number of dead has begun to slack recently.

Fifty-four people who had been tested positive for the MERS have been recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Thai health officials last week announced its first case after a 75-year-old man from Oman entered the country, seeking for a treatment for a heart condition in Bangkok.

A hundred and seventy-five people who had been in touch with him were quarantined as a measure in Bangkok but no new infection has been reported since.

"We can confirm that there are no new MERS patients," Thai Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told reporters as he was in a tour of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport to show all measures have been taken in the country.

Thai Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said tourism had not been affected in Bangkok which fetchs 10 percent of the total country’s income.

The MERS coronavirus is from the same family as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which left more than 800 people dead and infected about 8,000 people worldwide between 2002-2003.

MERS does not spread from human to human easily but its fatality rate is much higher than SARS, with 38 percent of those infected dying, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures.


TRTWorld and agencies