South Korea reports its first MERS case

A South Korean man is the first patient to catch the MERS virus after his trip to Bahrain

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

South Korean health officials announced that Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus was first diagnosed in a patient who recently returned from Bahrain, adding that his condition is stable.

The patient, 68, who was in Bahrain for farming related business on April 18 to May 3, came back to South Korea on May 4 passing Qatar, according to the health ministry.

Director of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kim Young-taek said the patient’s wife, who is taking care of him in the hospital during his treatment, also has a minor respiratory symptom. Kim also said her test results will be ready on Thursday.

"There is no possibility of the disease spreading to ordinary people although it is possible to have additional cases among those who contacted the patient and have been isolated," Kim said.

MERS, which is from the same family with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) first occurred in 2012. China had suffered from Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2013. Still no cure or vaccine can eliminate the SARS virus.

Till now 1,118 MERS cases, including 423 deaths have been reported by the World Health Organisation, globally.

The last case was seen in the UAE on May 9, of a truck driver who was transporting camels from Qatar to the United Arab Emirates, according to the hospitals test results. Test results of the camels were also positive for the Mers.

Travel agents who organize vacations to the Middle East warns their customers about taking part in camel rides or activities involving animals, which may increase the risk of infection.

TRTWorld and agencies