09:41 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Three Weeks Without New MERS Cases in South Korea

    © AFP 2019 / JUNG YEON-JE
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    MERS Coronavirus Outbreak (41)
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    South Korea has gone 22 days without reporting any new case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the Health Ministry said Monday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The only person under quarantine, a Korean healthcare worker, was released earlier today from the isolation ward after being monitored for symptoms of the deadly infection, the ministry said in the updated statistics sheet.

    This is a welcomed sign that the nation could be out of the woods after the MERS outbreak claimed the lives of 36 people since its start in May.

    A total of 16,693 people were quarantined at various times during the epidemic. The diagnosis was confirmed in 186 patients, with 12 people still under treatment in Korean hospitals.

    The MERS outbreak in South Korea is largely blamed on overcrowded emergency rooms, as well as insufficient safety measures and excessive hospital patient visits.

    There is currently no approved vaccine for MERS. People with chronic illnesses or a weak immune system are at a higher risk of contracting the viral respiratory disease. The mortality of the virus in Korea stands at 19.4 percent.

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    MERS Coronavirus Outbreak (41)

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    South Korea, quarantine, epidemic, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
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