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posted by janrinok on Tuesday June 09 2015, @03:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the nothing-funny-about-MERS dept.

The World Health Organization expects cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) to spread in South Korea. 200 primary schools are being closed and 1,300 people have been quarantined:

Health officials announced Wednesday [3 June] that five more people had been diagnosed, bringing the total infected with the virus to 30. Two patients have died. That makes the outbreak the largest outside the Arabian Peninsula, where the disease emerged in 2012. The virus, which primarily causes flu-like symptoms such as fever and cough, kills an estimated three to four out of every 10 patients infected.

The situation in South Korea has alarmed the global health community because the virus has spread so fast and wide from a single individual. Other countries have imported cases in the same manner but the virus infected only a few others.

How did MERS get to South Korea and why is it spreading so fast?

The first known case, called an "index" case, was reported on May 20. It involved a 68-year-old man who was returning from a 16-day business trip to four Middle Eastern countries. The man was asymptomatic during his return flight but was subsequently treated at two different out-patient clinics and two hospitals which created a lot of opportunities for the virus to spread. Health care workers did not suspect the man of having MERS so he was not put in isolation.

Others who have been infected include health care workers, other patients, family members and visitors. The World Health Organization reported that some of the cases were patients in the same room or ward as the man, and that their exposure may have been from 5 minutes to a few hours.

Two recent cases represent an alarming development — a third generation of transmission. That is, a patient who did not have contact with the index patient but came into contact with an intermediary who had been exposed to the virus. "That raised fears that infections could now spread exponentially from all people who test positive," Korea's JoongAng Daily reported.

The BBC is announcing the sixth Mers-related death in S Korea and outlining the containment strategy being adopted by the government.

A sixth person has died after contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in South Korea, amid a sharp rise in infections.

More than 23 people were confirmed to have contracted the disease on Sunday, bringing the total to 87, health officials say.

[...] About 2,300 people have been placed under quarantine and nearly 1,900 schools have been closed.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Thailand Quarantines 32 Due to MERS Case 3 comments

Book your flights and hotels as deals become available:

Thailand has quarantined 32 people as it seeks to prevent the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) after a second case of the virus was detected on Friday, a health ministry official said on Monday.

The virus was found in a 71-year-old Omani man traveling to Bangkok. His son, taxi drivers, hotel staff and passengers on the same plane are among those quarantined for two weeks, Amnuay Gajeena, director-general of Thailand's Disease Control Department, told reporters. Another eight have been identified and will also be quarantined, he said.

[...] Thailand's tourism industry would not be affected by the latest MERS case, Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul told Reuters. "We think we have the situation under control," she said. "We're confident this will not affect tourism in Thailand." Tourism accounts for 10 percent of GDP, and Thailand expects a record number of international visitors in 2016 - some 32 million, up from 29.88 million in 2015.

The World Health Organization said in its latest update on Jan. 7 it has been notified of 1,626 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS from 26 countries, and at least 586 related deaths. MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered China's deadly 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Don't forget to visit Rio de Janeiro.

Previously: MERS Outbreak and Quarantines in South Korea


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:00AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:00AM (#193928) Homepage Journal

    "The Coming Plague" by Laurie Garrett
    "The Hot Zone" - I can't be bothered to look up the author.

    I heard a radio interview of Garrett in which she remarked that "40% of Americans surveyed are opposed to public health". She wasn't referring to "public health care", rather "public health" such as ensuring that restaurant employees wash their hands.

    The Hot Zone is somewhat sensationalist however it is very well-researched. The book concludes by pointing out that "the human race is a trillion pounds of meat just waiting for a virus".

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:29AM (#193935)

      Your SIG is stupid. Learn bash and modify it you lazy asshole. If you can spend time on here spewing your stupid shit you can take two minutes to read a man page or Google you stupid lazy fatass.

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:37AM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:37AM (#193938) Homepage Journal

        ... you could get a good job, rent your own place, even buy a car.

        Perhaps someday you could even attract the attentions of a cute girlfriend.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:55AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:55AM (#193940)

          Clothes make the Man! If you look like a successful Man, you must be a successful Man. Right?

          Women, stay in the kitchen. If you are female, your only purpose in life is to be cute and find a rich husband. Right?

          And don't be Black. Black people are no good at anything. Right?

          Thanks for setting back the tolerance movement by about 100 years, asshole.

          • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:07AM

            by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:07AM (#193943) Homepage Journal

            I own several, all of them top-quality.

            I wear them because wearing neckties leads women to believe I have a real job.

            --
            Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:14AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:14AM (#193945)

              If you're trolling for women with your neckties, you'll only ever find gold-diggers. I hope you like superficial greedy bitches.

              • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:47AM

                by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:47AM (#193953) Homepage Journal

                I'm always very up-front about my mental illness when I date new women; consider that every page on my site makes my diagnosis plainly apparent.

                My ex-wife first contacted me when she stumbled across my first web page about my experiences with manic depression.

                Just wearing a necktie isn't going to attract gold diggers.

                There is little doubt in my mind that I have better luck with women than you do.

                --
                Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @06:03AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @06:03AM (#193958)

                  The ladies adore confident, gregarious, shameless self-promotion, especially when it's all lies.

            • (Score: 2) by lentilla on Tuesday June 09 2015, @03:57PM

              by lentilla (1770) on Tuesday June 09 2015, @03:57PM (#194112)

              Nicely done. You know you shouldn't respond to trolls but that was pretty classy.

          • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:20AM

            by captain normal (2205) on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:20AM (#193946)

            Ah ha! You've been found out AC: http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-06-07 [dilbert.com]

            --
            “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:24AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:24AM (#193948)

              I've never even met Dilbert, you moron. It's a bigger world out there than you seem to think it is.

              • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:50AM

                by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:50AM (#193954) Journal

                Wow! A entire diversion on MJC's tagline! 'Cause it's not proper bash? Dude! That may be the point! Ever think of that? Not to mention you are taking on a self-confessed crazy guy! And wearing ties? Who does that anymore, except people on Game of Thrones? Seriously! So let's all get back to the impending pandemic that can kill us all, as that is slightly more important. Do you know that there is always a minority that survives any pandemic? Have you had your MERS and SARS and H1B2 vaccinations recently? Do you know that your own body is primarily made up of alien lifeforms who are just waiting for you to die? This is what kept me out of medicine. It just seems so pointless. Now cosmology! There someone can make a difference! "Cough, cough" Oh, dear. . . . .

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:39AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:39AM (#193951)

            Clothes make the Man! If you look like a successful Man, you must be a successful Man.

            No, but it sure affects how people treat you.

            Women, stay in the kitchen. If you are female, your only purpose in life is to be cute and find a rich husband. Right?

            And don't be Black. Black people are no good at anything. Right?

            He didn't say that. Or even said anything which could remotely hint to any of that. What kind of reasoning could have possibly lead you to that conclusion is beyond me.

            Thanks for setting back the tolerance movement by about 100 years, asshole.

            Faux-liberals like you are the most intolerant pile of shitbags in western societies. You literally talk like fucking nazis. No, that's not an exaggeration [reddit.com].

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @06:01AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @06:01AM (#193956)

              Faux-liberals like you are the most intolerant pile of shitbags in western societies. You literally talk like fucking nazis.

              There are no liberals on Faux News! A Ha! Caught in your own lie, are you not? A cowardly pooltron such as yourself should shuffle off to parts unknown and ill famed.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:23AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:23AM (#193934)

    South Korea is basically all North Korea because all the people live in Seoul, which is spitting distance (judging by your girlfriend) from North Korea. Did I mention Korean people are stupid? There are over 200 chinks dead in a sunken ferry because the captain told them to stay in their quarters while the ship was sinking. Fuck North and South Korea because they are all stupid assholes.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:03AM (#193942)

      >> which is spitting distance (judging by your girlfriend)
      Thanks for the compliment!

      >> Did I mention Korean people are stupid?
      No. That was your first mention. I suggest you get your short-term memory checked.

      >> There are over 200 chinks dead in a sunken ferry...
      You used the incorrect terminology. The word you are looking for is "gook", which refers to all Asians, or the word "kimchi" which refers to Koreans.

      >> Fuck North and South Korea
      I'd prefer not to.

      I feel that reading your post really enhanced my knowledge and understanding of the world, and I thank you profusely for it.

      Kamsahabnida (that means thank you in kimchi language)

      • (Score: 1) by KGIII on Tuesday June 09 2015, @06:34AM

        by KGIII (5261) on Tuesday June 09 2015, @06:34AM (#193967) Journal

        Chink is a derogatory name for Chinese. A ferry rolled over and killed about 300 people just the other day. Well, I dimly recall the number 300 being bandied about.

        --
        "So long and thanks for all the fish."
  • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:57AM

    by Gravis (4596) on Tuesday June 09 2015, @04:57AM (#193941)

    if you haven't already dawned your level A hazmat suit (type I for our euro-friends), just throw in the towel because it's OVER for you!

    interesting: The difference between US vs UK Ebola news coverage [youtube.com]

    • (Score: 2) by ticho on Tuesday June 09 2015, @08:41AM

      by ticho (89) on Tuesday June 09 2015, @08:41AM (#194010) Homepage Journal

      What if I dusked my suit instead? :)
      (The proper word was "donned", not "dawned".)

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:10AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:10AM (#193944) Homepage Journal

    While this won't solve the problem it will go a long ways towards containing it:

    The last couple times I visited a medical clinic, the receptionist asked me whether I had traveled outside the country recently. That's It.

    Even if it's not MERS or Ebola, traveling far from home exposes you to many diseases for which you may not have a natural immunity. I learned that the hard way when I visited Guatemala.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:21AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @05:21AM (#193947)

      Pursuant to public health, no travel of any kind shall be permitted. If you live more than 10 miles away from your workplace, find another job.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @08:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @08:55AM (#194013)

        as far as containment goes, that would be pretty effective i think

        as far as personal liberties go... pfft that is sooo 18th century

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday June 09 2015, @08:36AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday June 09 2015, @08:36AM (#194007) Journal

      Another low level but brutally efficient method is isolation which is what S.Korean authorities tries to do. The question is if that will contain the number of new cases. If the number of infected increases faster than they either get well or die then there's a big problem..

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @03:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @03:32PM (#194105)

    it is interesting that no one in the middle east is ick or getting sick. maybe they're immune to the always-on, omnipresent, humid, not-cared-for, bacteria and virus growth vats called .. air-conditioners?
    or maybe it cannot become pupic :) knowledge that people with too much time and money like to go to ..uhm..errr.. less developed (poor) countries to find some company in dark, seedy bedbug invested ... love motels?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @03:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09 2015, @03:34PM (#194106)

      "hi honey! did you take all your anti-biotics and wear a condom on your trip? oh and did you bring me that diamond ring?"

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Tuesday June 09 2015, @07:28PM

      by HiThere (866) on Tuesday June 09 2015, @07:28PM (#194211) Journal

      IIUC, MERS is descended from Camel Pox. And Camel Pox is mildly contagious among humans, but not sufficiently to maintain itself without the camels. O, and it's so mild you almost don't know you've got it. So if you've had Camel Pox, you probably won't get MERS. (Rather like Cow Pox and Small Pox.)

      This was offered as an informed guess by a doctor a year or so ago when MERS first hit the new. Maybe it's true. It explains your observation.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.