Planning a trip to South Korea soon? You might want to take note of this and be careful! Remember when the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) first made its name known and people were panicking in case they caught the disease?
Although things may have simmered down for that potentially deadly virus, it looks like they have made their presence known again in South Korea. In a recent report by Reuters, a 61-year-old South Korean man has been diagnosed with MERS and is currently in a Seoul hospital where he is being treated.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Saturday (Sept 8) that the infected man had gotten the disease after he returned to Seoul on Friday (Sept 7) from a business trip to Kuwait. He had been there from August 16 to September 6.
This marks the first outbreak of MERS detected in South Korea ever since July 2015. “We have found that as many as 20 people, including flight attendants and medical staff, have been in close contact with the patient and they are under isolation at home,” KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said in a press conference.
The patient had been suffering from diarrhoea in Kuwait and had been treated at a local hospital there. However, after landing at the airport in South Korea, he went to Samsung Medical Center and is now being quarantined in an isolation ward at Seoul National University Hospital for fever and phlegm.
Jeong added that all Middle Eastern flights have been put into quarantine and KCDC is working hard with the government to prevent the spread of MERS in the country. When the deadly and highly infectious disease first hit South Korea in 2015, 186 people were infected with 38 fatalities reported. MERS is believed to be linked to camels and the Arabian Peninsula. The virus is spread easily by close contact with an infected person’s respiratory secretions.
Some of the symptoms of MERS include:
- Shortness of breath
Remember to always wash your hands and cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or wear a mask!
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