South Korea Reports 2 More Deaths and 1 New Case of MERS

luvsmiling, June 27, 2015, 11:06 a.m.

South Korea reported an additional two deaths from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Friday, along with a new case that put the total number of people diagnosed with the disease at 181. The newest patient was a doctor from Seoul's Samsung Medical Center, which has accounted for nearly half of all infections here, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The hospital, run by the country's largest conglomerate Samsung Group, had voluntarily shut down most of its operations until Wednesday. The shutdown has been extended indefinitely by the health ministry as patients and doctors, as well as simple visitors to the hospital, continued to be diagnosed with the disease.

The two new deceased were both female patients, aged 79 years and 80 years old, and both of whom had existing health conditions, including diabetes, cerebral infarction and cancer. The health ministry has said over 90 percent of all MERS-related deaths in South Korea have involved people with existing health conditions, which were apparently worsened by MERS, eventually leading to their deaths.

With the latest fatalities, the country's death toll came to 31. The fatality rate of the disease in the country rose to 17.1 percent. Out of the 181 people diagnosed with the potentially deadly disease so far, 81 have been discharged from hospitals following complete recoveries, according to the ministry. The remaining 69 remain hospitalized with 13 of them currently in critical condition. Apart from those diagnosed, 2,931 people were in isolation for possible infection after coming in close contact with MERS patients. The number increased from 2,642 on the previous day.

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