MERS Fear Grips South Korea



Since May 2015, the Republic of South Korea has been investigating an outbreak of MERS. It is the largest known outbreak of MERS outside the Middle East.

CDC does not recommend that Americans change their travel plans to the Republic of Korea or other countries because of MERS.

What is MERS ?

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness that is new to humans. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to several other countries, including the United States. Most people infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Combating Measures :

  • 2,300 people quarantined 
  • 1,800 schools will be closed for several days
  • 1,500 people to self-quarantine because they unknowingly attended a symposium with a doctor who was infected with MERS

Steps to prevent MERS:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, or sharing cups or eating utensils, with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.

Source: CDC

Experts with exclusive MERS experience from WHO are coming to South Korea to assess the pattern of the virus spread and to take look at public health response efforts.