Thursday, June 11, 2015

Korea: A Morning MERS Roundup

# 10,185

Since the latest MERS update came out 12 hours ago we've learned of the 10th fatality of this outbreak, some specifics regarding some of the patients recently reported, and of steps taken by the Korean government to lessen the economic impact of this crisis.

First stop, the decision by the Korean Central Bank to cut key interest rates to help bolster their flagging economy.

CNN reports this morning that a statement from the bank lowers interest rates a quarter point (to 1.5%) due to  "concerns following the MERS outbreak about contractions in domestic demand activities such as consumption and in economic sentiment."

The Korean CDC reports three patients recovered, while a 10th patient has died in the following statement:

Homers patients discharged three people killed 1 people

- To date, a total of 7 patients discharged , deceased 10 people -

Department of Health and Human Services ' central Homers management task force " is 6 month 11 days ( neck ), MER of the party's confirmed three people were discharged an additional 1 deaths were announced .

discharge a patient is 7 times the patient ( female , 28 years old , 5 th discharged parties ), 37 times the patient ( male , 45 years old , 6 th discharged parties ), 13 times the patient ( male , 49 years old , 7 th discharged parties ) to 2 tests in order to appear as a negative 6 month 11 days ( neck ) Discharge was .* Discharge : 2 times (6.5), 5 times (6.8), 18 times (6.9), 34 times (6.10), 7 times (6.11), 37 times (6.11), 13 times (6.11)

The deceased (Pt #83 65 Male), like most of the other 9 fatalities, suffered from serious co-morbidities (in this caselung cancer).  MERS is well known for taking a heavy toll among those with chronic illnesses.

This morning Reuters is reporting that patient #14, who appears to have started the large nosocomial outbreak at Samsung Medical Hospital, was kept for more than 2 days in the Emergency room while waiting for a bed - providing ample opportunities to pass on the virus.

Deadly delay: Long ER waits aggravate South Korea MERS spread 

Reuters By Ju-min Park 
SEOUL (Reuters) - The man who became South Korea's MERS patient number 14 waited two-and-a-half days in the emergency ward for a bed to open at a prestigious Seoul hospital – not an unusually long time for the city's top medical centers.

By the time the 35-year-old was suspected of infection with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), nearly 900 hospital staff, visitors and patients had been through the emergency ward. 
Of those, 55 were infected with MERS, including four elderly patients who have died while the rest are in quarantine, putting the hospital at the center of an outbreak that has infected 122, with 10 dead. 
(Continue. . . )

In another instance where a failure to identify and isolate a case may have led to additional exposures, the Korean Herald reports on a 35 year old policeman who initially tested negative, was released, and then readmitted two days later.

Of particular concern was a male policeman who was actually released after he tested negative for MERS on June 3. He was readmitted on June 5 after his conditions worsened, and a re-test on Tuesday finally confirmed that he had the disease.

His case raises the possibility of the MERS being exposed to the general public depending on when he caught the virus. As of now, all infections are thought to have occurred within hospital walls, according to the government. 

Lastly, CNN reports this morning that Korean officials have announced a `Safe Hospitals' program to instill faith in the population that it is no longer risky to go to the hospital.

'Safe hospitals' 

At a briefing Thursday, South Korean hospitals would implement a "safe hospitals" program to separate suspected MERS patients from other patients. 
Health minister Moon Hyung-pyo said all "general level" hospitals would cooperate with the scheme, by treating patients with symptoms similar to MERS in separate facilities.

According to the Korean Herald, we should see a list of  `safe hospitals' released later today.

List of MERS-safe hospitals to be released 

Updated : 2015-06-11 15:28

The South Korean governments said Thursday it will start to release a list of hospitals considered safe from Middle East respiratory syndrome infection, such as those that operate separate treatment facilities.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said that it has decided to compile the list after consultation with the Korean Medical Association, Korean Hospital Association and heads of major hospitals. 
The hospitals designated as safe will be those that treat patients with various respiratory diseases with symptoms similar to MERS in separate facilities and also provide one-bedroom wards for patients suspected of pneumonia.

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