First deaths from MERS spark panic in South Korea; case also confirmed in China

A couple wear masks as a precaution against MERS in Seoul, South Korea

A deadly respiratory disease has sparked widespread panic across South Korea after claiming its first victims in the largest outbreak outside the Middle East.

A 58-year-old woman died of acute respiratory failure yesterday and tests later came back positive for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), the health ministry said.

The other victim was a 71-year-old man who was confirmed to have the virus several days ago and who died on Tuesday.

Six more South Koreans were diagnosed with the MERS virus Monday night, the ministry said, bringing the total number of people infected to 25 including the two deceased…

The first case – a 68-year-old man diagnosed after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia – was reported on May 20…

Note also: China last week reported its first MERS case. A South Korean man who tested positive after breaking a voluntary house quarantine last week, flying to Hong Kong and then traveling to mainland China.

A few previous posts on MERS to refresh your memory:

June 6, 2014: DNA Test Indicates Camel-To-Human Transmission Of MERS

June 7, 2014: Pilgrims Converge On Mecca, Undeterred By MERS

July 14, 2014: MERS Virus Detected In Air Samples From Saudi Camel Barn


  • Maggat

    That’s what happens when one jumps a camel.

    • tom_billesley

      Don’t they share the camel?

  • tom_billesley

    It’ll get interesting by September and the Hajj