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South Korean MERS Outbreak Subsiding, But Control Efforts Must Be Sustained, Health Officials Say

Agence France-Presse: MERS outbreak shows old habits die hard in South Korea
“…Since the first case was diagnosed on May 20, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has spread at an alarmingly rapid pace in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, infecting 166 people and killing 24 of them in less than a month. Experts blame a combination of bureaucratic inefficiency and poor crisis management and training, creating mistrust and public anxiety and shaking public confidence in the very foundations of the country’s ‘miracle’ development model…” (Ha-Won, 6/18).

Agence France-Presse: S. Korea says MERS outbreak shows signs of subsiding
“South Korea said Friday that the MERS outbreak that has killed 24 people appears to have begun subsiding, as it reported one new case — the lowest rate of new infections in two weeks…” (Chan-Kyong, 6/18).

Associated Press: WHO chief reassures South Korea as its MERS deaths reach 24
“The head of the World Health Organization has praised beleaguered South Korean officials and exhausted health workers, saying their efforts to contain a deadly MERS virus outbreak have put the country on good footing and lowered the public risk…” (Tong-Hyung, 6/18).

New York Times: South Korean Official Says MERS Outbreak Seems to Be Easing
“…In recent days, South Korean officials have expressed increasing confidence that the outbreak was coming under control. But they have also cautioned that new cases would continue to emerge in the coming weeks, saying that enforcement of quarantine and disease-control measures needed to continue…” (Sang-Hun, 6/19).

Reuters: South Korea MERS outbreak has ‘leveled off’; one new case
“… ‘Given the current developments, we have judged that it has leveled off, but we need to watch further spread, further cases from so-called intensive control hospitals,’ the South Korean health ministry’s chief policy official, Kwon Deok-cheol, told a briefing…” (Park/Munroe, 6/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.