South Korea’s Health Ministry has announced the death of two people from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has so far infected dozens of people in the Asian country.
According to a Tuesday report by the Yonhap news agency, a 58-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man, who had been confirmed to have the virus in late May, were the first victims of the killer virus in South Korea.
The news agency had earlier said that 25 people had been diagnosed with the disease.
Nearly 700 people in South Korea have been exposed directly or indirectly to the virus and quarantined or placed under special observation.
The outbreak in South Korea has been traced to the original case of a 68-year-old man diagnosed with the virus after coming back from Saudi Arabia.
MERS is a cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The virus first emerged in the Middle East, and was discovered in September 2012 in a Qatari man who had traveled to Saudi Arabia.
The virus, which causes coughing, fever and pneumonia, does not appear to be as contagious as SARS, which killed some 800 people in a 2003 epidemic.
MERS has affected more than 20 countries, with the most cases being in Saudi Arabia, where more than 400 people have died as a result of the disease since 2012. No vaccine or cure exists yet for MERS.
Read more: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/06/01/413902/South-Korea-MERS-China-epidemic