The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes a severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. South Korean authorities have reported that the MERS-CoV has infected about 30 people and led to the death of two in the country. To prevent an outbreak of the MERS-CoV, more than 200 schools in South Korea were asked to suspend classes, revealed the South Korean Education Minister Hwang Woo-yea.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye convened an emergency cabinet meeting on June 3, 2015, to analyze the situation. Minister Hwang Woo-yea said, "A total of 209 nurseries and schools, which make up 1% of the country's 20,000 education centers, have been temporarily closed due to the increasing alarm caused by the virus."
MERS had reached its peak around a year ago in several countries of the Middle East, and has a mortality rate of approximately 40%, according to the World Health Organization. However, the South Korean experts have pointed out that the mortality rate of the disease could be far less than that predicted by WHO as the causes of the virus are now known.
Although, there is no cure or vaccine for this disease, it is equally difficult to get infected by the MERS virus as it requires a very direct and close contact. Approximately 1,160 people in 24 countries have been confirmed as carriers of MERS-CoV since 2012, when the first case was detected in Saudi Arabia.