South Korea Free From MERS Virus



Coronavirus, a type of virus which includes the common cold and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).  It emerged in the Middle East and claimed its first death in Saudi Arabia in June 2012.  Camels were first infected and transmission mode to humans is not completely understood.  Patients infected by MERS have breathing difficulties, fever and can suffer from pneumonia and kidney failure.  No vaccine or specific treatment is available and hence over a third (36%) of the patients have died.  

MERS came into existence in South Korea on 26 May through a man who visited the Middle East.  South Korea is the only country outside the Middle East to witness an outbreak.  In this outbreak 186 were infected and 36 have died.

South Korea’s Prime Minister, Mr. Hwang said that there had been no new infections for the last 23 days.   WHO waits for 28 days without new infection to declare South Korea free from MERS.

The outbreak had a terrific impact on the economy.  To recover from this disastrous situation, the government has announced a relief package for about 11.5-trillion won ($9.84bn; £6.3bn).

Its reported that South Korean President expressed regret for the trouble caused to the public and said that they can lead a normal life as South Korea is now free form MERS.

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