KHABAROVSK (Sputnik) – Laboratory tests have revealed that a woman from Russia’s Far Eastern Primorsky Territory, who was early suspected of having contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), is not infected, Russia’s public health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor informs.
"The analyses have not confirmed the presence of the virus," a Rospotrebnadzor spokesperson told RIA Novosti early on Thursday.
The woman was quarantined at home on Wednesday, after she returned from South Korea, where she came into contact with a MERS infected individual, according to Primorsky authorities.
Russia’s Far East has been on heightened alert over the MERS outbreak in South Korea, where at least 165 cases of the virus have been registered so far. The epidemic has claimed the lives of 23 people, according to the latest data from South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare.
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.
MERS was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and then spread to other countries. The viral respiratory disease is introduced from camels to people, with limited human-to-human transmission, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
There is currently no vaccine for MERS.