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People's Daily Online

S.Korea reports 8 more MERS cases, 1 death

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 11:51, June 17, 2015

SEOUL, June 17 -- South Korea on Wednesday reported eight more cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) infection and one more death, bringing the total death toll to 20.

Kwon Jun-wook, director-general of the health ministry's public health policy, told a regular press briefing that the 42nd patient passed away in the morning as the 54-year-old woman, infected on May 25, suffered from weak bronchial tubes and high blood pressure.

The death toll increased to 20. Among the 123 infectees under treatment 17 people are in unstable conditions.

Among the total deaths from MERS infections, 18 people had already suffered from chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and illnesses in lung, kidney and heart, Kwon said.

Eight new cases were reported, raising the total contagion to 162 since the first case was discovered on May 20, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Among the new cases, five people contracted the virus at the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, where the patient 14, called super spreader, has infected nearly 80 people.

One medical staff of the Samsung hospital was included in the list of new infectees, Kwon said. The 162nd patient, the hospital' s radiographer, was estimated to have been exposed to the virus while operating diagnostic imaging devices for another infectee.

The remaining three cases caught the virus each at the Hallym University Medical Center in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, the Gangdong Kyunghee University Medical Center in Seoul and a small clinic in Pyeongtaek, about 60 km south of Seoul.

The new case from the Kyunghee hospital was a 31-year-old doctor who treated patients at the emergency room on June 5 when the patient 76 visited the hospital.

Two patients were discharged from hospitals as they completely recovered after being infected. It raised the total number of hospital discharge to 19.

The number of people quarantined stood at 6,508 as of Wednesday, up 922 from the previous day. People ordered to stay at home grew 672, with those isolated at the government-designated hospitals rising 250.

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