South Korean Man Dies from MERS Virus

John Kim, Oct. 26, 2015, 9:32 a.m.

A man in his mid-60s has died from complications of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, the first such death since July. The patient contracted MERS at the Samsung Medical Center on May 27, where he was paying for his wife's treatment. 

The brevity of his visit kept him off the radar of authorities and he did not think he had contracted MERS despite developing a cough. It was only 19 days later that he was diagnosed with the disease. 

He was free of the virus a month later but developed complications including pneumonia and breathing problems. He had to rely on a breathing apparatus, and doctors said his lungs had suffered irreparable damage. 

The patient received a lung transplant, but his condition worsened a week later and he fell into a coma. Problems in his kidneys led to a surge in ammonia levels and he also developed epileptic symptoms and died on Sunday morning. Four out of the 182 MERS patients are still being treated, and one of them still tests positive for the virus. 

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