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People's Daily Online

MERS infections rise to 122, 1 Chinese infected in S. Korea

People's Daily Online

By huaxia (Xinhua) 17:04, June 11, 2015

SEOUL, June 11 -- The number of South Koreans diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) increased to 122 since the first case was reported on May 20, while the first case of Chinese infection was reported, the health ministry said on Thursday.

Fourteen new cases were added Thursday, including a 39-year-old pregnant woman, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. She has been in stable conditions, but if she develops symptoms, she will have a cesarean section.

Among the new cases were eight people contracting the virus at the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul. The total number infected at the Samsung hospital surged to 55 with the eight new infections.

The 115th patient was the first case contracting the virus outside of the emergency room of the Samsung hospital, raising fears for a human-to-human transmission in the community. The 77- year-old woman visited the hospital as an outpatient on May 27, but it was not sure whether she was infected from the 14th patient as others were.

One contagion was reported at the Hallym University Medical Center in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, increasing the total case at the hospital to four.

The ministry failed to figure out where the five others caught the virus as they were confirmed positive overnight. The health authorities were conducting an epidemiological study of the five patients.

China's National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) said that a Chinese woman, 64, living in South Korea tested positive for the MERS. It was the first Chinese case of MERS infection.

The woman had close with another confirmed patient at a South Korean hospital, for which she had worked, and has since been placed under quarantine.

According to the Korea Tourism Organization, a total of 67,700 foreigners had canceled their travel plan to South Korea for the first nine days of May due to fears for the MERS epidemic.

The number of South Koreans put under quarantine increased to 3, 805 on Thursday from 3,439 the previous day. Among them were 3,591 people quarantined at home and 214 staying at the government- designated hospitals.

The number of those freed from the quarantine list totaled 955. Still, the test of 225 potential carriers was underway.

No death was added on Thursday, leaving the death toll at nine. Thirteen patients were in serious condition.

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