South Korean MERS Patient Leaves to China

kpopluv, May 28, 2015, 10:57 a.m.

A South Korean placed under watch for a suspected case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has left for China, officials here said Thursday. The 44-year-old man was confirmed to have left for China on Tuesday, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

He has yet to be diagnosed with the viral disease but had been placed in isolation at his own home after his father was diagnosed. His 76-year-old father was the third person in the country to be diagnosed with MERS. The man had shared a hospital room with the first person ever in South Korea to be diagnosed.

His daughter has also been diagnosed with MERS after she came in close contact with the first patient while visiting her father at the hospital, according to the CDC. The CDC said it has notified the Western Pacific Region Office of the World Health Organization that the man has departed for China.

He was one of some 60 people who have been placed in isolation at their own homes after coming in close contact with the first patient, who reportedly caught the MERS virus while traveling to the Middle East in mid-April.

Meanwhile, the disease control agency said it had confirmed two more cases of MERS, raising the total number of South Koreans infected with the potentially fatal virus to seven. MERS is a viral respiratory illness that is fairly new to humans, with only 1,142 reported cases in 23 countries since the first case was confirmed in Saudi Arabia in 2012.


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