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First Case of MERS Transmission Outside Hospital Walls Recorded in S Korea

© REUTERS / Bobby YipFlight passengers from Busan
Flight passengers from Busan - Sputnik International
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The first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) person to person transmission outside of a medical institution has been confirmed in South Korea, The Donga-a Ilbo newspaper reports.

TOKYO (Sputnik) – According to the South Korean daily, an ambulance driver, who was taking MERS-infected patients to a hospital on June 5-6, has caught the virus himself. Prior to this case, MERS transmission between humans was believed to have taken place only within hospital walls.

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Death Toll From MERS Virus in South Korea Reaches 14, Health Ministry Says

Over 130 people have been infected with MERS in South Korea, while 14 have died from the virus, according to the latest data from country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare.

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The number of people quarantined in South Korea amid the MERS outbreak exceeds 3,800 people. More than 2,000 educational facilities have been closed to prevent the spread of the virus.

The South Korean government has acknowledged that the outbreak has been fueled by insufficient safety measures when the first MERS patients were hospitalized in May.

MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by a certain type of coronavirus. First reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, it has since spread to other countries.

Fever, coughing and shortness of breath are among the typical symptoms of MERS, for which there is currently no vaccine.

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