KHABAROVSK (Sputnik) – A woman has been quarantined in Russia’s Far Eastern Primorsky Territory on suspicion that she may be infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), local authorities report.
"Epidemiologists are now monitoring a woman from Ussuriysk who has recently returned from [South] Korea, where she came into contact with a [MERS] infected individual at one of the hospitals in Seoul’s suburbs," the Primorsky administration said in a Wednesday statement.
The woman remains quarantined at home, the administration’s spokesperson told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
"The patient has not been hospitalized as there are no grounds for it. She is in quarantine at home. Her samples, taken for analysis, will be studied at a laboratory. Conclusions regarding her condition can only be made after that," the spokesperson said.
"We are talking about anti-epidemic measures. Primorye doctors are prepared to deal with such emergency situations," Kuzmin said.
According to the health minister, samples taken from the patient will be sent to the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR in Novosibirsk for an expert analysis.
Russia’s Far East has been on heightened alert over the MERS outbreak in South Korea, where at least 162 cases of the virus have been registered so far. The epidemic has claimed the lives of 19 people, mostly elderly individuals or people with serious health problems.
The South Korean government has acknowledged that the MERS outbreak, which started in May, is a result of insufficient safety measures during hospitalization of the first patients diagnosed with the virus.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by the MERS-coronavirus. MERS was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and then spread to other countries.
The virus is introduced from camels to people, with limited human-to-human transmission, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The infection triggers such symptoms as fever, cough and shortness of breath.
There is currently no vaccine for MERS.