WHO has published Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Republic of Korea. Excerpt:
On 20 May 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of the Republic of Korea notified WHO of the first laboratory confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. On 21 May, two additional confirmed cases were reported.
Details of the cases are as follows:
The first case is a 68 year-old male with the following travel history: 18-29 April, Bahrain; 29-30 April, United Arab Emirates; 30 April to 1 May, Bahrain; 1-2 May, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 2 May, Bahrain; and 2-3 May, Qatar. The patient arrived at Korea’s Incheon International airport via Qatar on 4 May. He was asymptomatic on arrival. The patient developed symptoms on 11 May and sought medical care at a clinic from 12 May to 15 May on an outpatient basis. He was then admitted to hospital on 15 May and discharged on 17 May.
On the evening of discharge, the patient visited the emergency department of another hospital. A sputum sample tested positive for MERS-CoV on 20 May, whereupon he was transferred to the nationally designated treatment facility for isolation. The patient has no history of exposure to known risk factors in the 14 days prior to detection. Investigation of the source of infection is ongoing.
The two additional cases were laboratory-confirmed for MERS-CoV on 21 May. One is a household contact. The other is a patient who shared the same hospital room with the first case. Currently, all three patients are in stable condition.
Contact tracing of household contacts and healthcare contacts is ongoing for the cases.
Globally, WHO has been notified of 1134 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 427 related deaths.