South Korea reports three more deaths of MERS

South Korea reports three more deaths and four new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

South Korea’s Health Ministry said on Tuesday that three more patients infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus had died.

The death toll rose to 19 in the outbreak that began in May.

In addition, the total figure reached 154 with new four cases in the outbreak that is the largest outside Saudi Arabia.

The South Korean government will maintain an expansionary fiscal policy until the economic recovery firms, the finance ministry said on Monday as Asia's fourth-biggest economy faces downside risks from the spread of MERS.

South Korea is home to the second largest number of patients infected by the virus, trailing Saudi Arabia, according to reports from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The disease was first identified in humans in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and is similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which left more than 800 people dead and infected about 8,000 people worldwide between 2002 and 2003.

MERS does not spread from human to human easily but its fatality rate is much higher than SARS, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) figures. The MERS virus has so far caused the deaths of more than 446 people.


TRTWorld and agencies