The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has spread at an unusually rapid pace in South Korea. It has become the largest MERS outbreak outside Saudi Arabia and has sparked off public alarm at home and elsewhere in Asia. The mortality rate due to the MERS virus continued to rise in South Korea, even as the pace of the outbreak appeared to slow down. Amid these developments South Korea has reported another death from MERS, raising the toll to 32.
The health ministry on June 27, 2015, reported the death of a 55-year-old due to the MERS virus. The mortality rate of the disease is currently at 17.5%, up from 15% a week ago and 10% two weeks ago, though still lower than World Health Organization figures which put the mortality rate for the disease at around 36%.
The man was diagnosed on June 9, 2015, after contracting the virus at Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, the epicenter of the outbreak where about 90 patients, visitors and medical staff had been infected. The total number of MERS infections remained unchanged at 182 and 15 patients were in critical condition.
The ministry said, "A total of 91 patients have recovered and been released from hospital, including one on Saturday. As of Sunday, a total of 2,562 people were under quarantine either at state facilities or at home."
South Korea's government is facing criticism for failing to contain the outbreak.