South Korean MERS Patient Who Traveled to China Healed

kpride, June 29, 2015, 8:49 a.m.

A Korean man who traveled to China after contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was released from hospital and returned to Korea on Friday. The 44-year-old had visited his hospitalized father, who was in the same room as the first MERS patient in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul last month. 

Despite doctors' efforts to dissuade him, the man flew to Guangzhou via Hong Kong for business on May 26 and was diagnosed with MERS there on May 29. He had been hospitalized in Guangzhou ever since. 

A Health Ministry official said, "According to the Chinese government, the patient's condition was critical in the early stage of his treatment under quarantine, but he eventually recovered and tested negative for the virus." Local media reported that the man was released from hospital on Friday morning. He thanked medical staff for caring for him. 

"In retrospect, the only people who stood by me during the past month were the medical staff. I will never forget what this hospital did for me," the Southern Metropolis Daily quoted him as saying. The daily also published a photo of the man holding flowers flanked by cheering medical staff.

The Huizhou People's Hospital in Guangzhou dispatched all 13 doctors and 50 nurses in its intensive care unit to tend to the Korean patient, and the Chinese government will foot the W1.4 billion medical bill (US$1=W1,120). The bulk of the expense involved the purchase of medical equipment needed to diagnose and treat the patient. A Health Ministry official here said, "The Chinese government informed us they would cover the entire expense as our government covered the cost of treating a Chinese MERS patient in Korea." 


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