South Korean President Calls For MERS Control Measures After 5 New Cases Reported

Reuters: South Korea says everything must be done to halt MERS
“South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Wednesday everything must be done to stop Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) as fear of the disease shut hundreds of schools and led to corporate giant Samsung calling off a staff conference…” (Park, 6/3).

Science Magazine: ‘Superspreading event’ triggers MERS explosion in South Korea
“…Scientists are wondering how a single imported case could have led to so many secondary infections. … The simplest explanation for the ‘superspreading event,’ as scientists call this type of spread, is a lapse in infection control measures at the hospital, [point person on MERS at the WHO, Peter Ben Embarek,] says…” (Kupferschmidt, 6/2).

TIME: MERS Is Going to Spread in South Korea, the WHO Says
“…According to Reuters, South Korea’s health ministry confirmed five new cases of the virus Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 30 — the largest outbreak outside of Saudi Arabia. South Korea has isolated about 750 people after they came into contact with patients infected with the virus, which results in coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and further complications of pneumonia and kidney failure…” (Regan, 6/3).

USA TODAY: South Korean MERS outbreak likely to spread, health officials say
“…Given how many people were exposed, ‘further cases can be expected,’ the WHO said in a statement. People are more likely to spread the disease when they are very sick and coughing more, [Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota,] said…” (Szabo, 6/3).

Washington Post: South Korea shuts down primary schools as spread of MERS alarms public
“South Korea shut down 200 primary schools, canceled some public events, and put more than 1,300 people in various levels of quarantine, acknowledging on Wednesday that the continuing spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome within its borders had become a crisis…” (Cha, 6/3).

WHO: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the Republic of Korea
“…The quality of reporting has allowed almost real-time insight into the dynamics of the outbreak. Aggressive contact tracing and testing for infection may help explain the rapid expansion of the outbreak. Human-to-human transmission has been documented. … The outbreak is the largest reported outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the disease first emerged in April 2012 and the vast majority of cases have occurred…” (6/2).

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