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WHO Calls For Emergency Meeting to Deal With Increasing Cases of MERS In South Korea

by Julia Samuel on June 13, 2015 at 2:31 PM
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WHO Calls For Emergency Meeting to Deal With Increasing Cases of MERS In South Korea

As the death toll from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus rises in South Korea, the World Health Organization has called for an emergency meeting.

South Korea has suffered the largest outbreak of the virus outside Saudi Arabia. A 72-year-old woman became the latest fatality after being infected by a MERS patient at a hospital, taking the death toll in the country to 11.

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So far, 126 cases have been recorded in South Korea since May 20, 2015 when the first case surfaced.

Currently, 3,680 people are under quarantine. A total of 1,249 people have been released from quarantine.

WHO's 'emergency committee will meet' to discuss the crisis, spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva. "The number of new cases is decreasing, but we have to monitor the situation. The committee will determine whether the current outbreak constitutes a global health emergency crisis," he said.
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MERS symptoms range from flu-like aches and pains to pneumonia and kidney failure. The virus is considered a deadlier cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which appeared in 2003 and killed more than 800 around the world.

Globally, some 1,200 people have been infected with MERS and some 450 have died since the virus first emerged in 2012.

Source: AFP
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