MERS infections in S. Korea rise to 35 with 5 tertiary contagions

Updated: 2015-06-04 10:35


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MERS infections in S. Korea rise to 35 with 5 tertiary contagions

A woman wearing masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) uses her mobile phone at Myeongdong shopping district in central Seoul, South Korea June 3, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL -- The number of South Koreans diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) rose to 35 Thursday as five more cases were identified, the health ministry said.

Among the five new cases were three persons directly infected from the patient zero, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The other two were infected from the 14th and 16th patients, who had been infected from the first patient. The tertiary infection totaled five as the two new cases were added.

Local news channel YTN reported that one more death was found for the MERS infection, but the health ministry had yet to confirm it.

Two people already died of the viral disease on Monday and Tuesday.

The MERS is a respiratory illness caused by a new type of corona-virus that is similar to the one causing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). There is no vaccine or treatment for the disease, with its fatality rate reaching 40.7 percent.

The first case was spotted in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The World Health Organization has reported more than 1,000 cases of MERS globally and more than 400 deaths.

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