MERS claims two lives in South Korea

Two people have died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea making it country’s first fatalities from the disease.

The first victim was a 58-year-old woman who had contact with the original case, a South Korean who visited the Middle East and second one is of a 71-year-old man.

So far, 25 confirmed cases of MERS virus have detected in South Korea and around 680 people who might have come into contact with the infected patients, have been placed in isolation.

Facts about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

  • MERS belongs to the family of coronaviruses which includes large family of viruses such as common cold and Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
  • It was discovered in 2012 and was mostly centred in Saudi Arabia.
  • Source: MERS is a betacoronavirus derived from bats. Camels have shown to have antibodies to MERS, but the exact source of infection in camels has not been identified.
  • Transmission: It can be transmitted from infected person to others after close contact via a respiratory route. It spread’s in droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • Symptoms: fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.
  • Treatment: Till date there is no vaccine available to prevent it. However intensive medical care can help patient to breath.