Although South Korea hasn’t recorded a new infection with the MERS virus since July 4th, the after-effects of their outbreak linger on - with one actively infected patient still in isolation - and a handful of others still dealing with serious health issues.
This morning we learn that a 66 year old South Korean man who was infected at the Samsung Seoul Emergency Room in mid June – and who has remained hospitalized for `complications’ even though he cleared the virus – has died.
This makes the 37th MERS related fatality in South Korea, putting their CFR (case fatality rate) at 20%. While a sizable mortality rate, it is less than half the fatality rate reported in Saudi Arabia.
Korea’s plans to declare their country free of the MERS virus has been thwarted repeatedly over the past couple of months as one patient continues to shed the virus. After clearing the virus in late September, the 35 year-old male was finally released on October 1st, and the government began their long-awaited 28 day countdown to declaring their outbreak over.
Unexpectedly, the patient was rehospitalized 10 days later (see Korean Govt. Statement On MERS Patient `Relapse’ and Isolation) and was found to be once again shedding the virus.
He remains hospitalized, along with four others who – while free of the virus – continue to suffer various complications related to their illness.
`SEOUL (AFP) - A South Korean man died of complications from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) on Sunday (Oct 25), in the first death linked to the virus in the country for more than three months.
The 66-year-old man was diagnosed in June after contracting the virus at the Samsung Medical Centre in Seoul - one of the major epicentres of the disease that swept the country between May and July, Seoul's health ministry said.
He was later said to be cured of the disease but had been battling an acute lung ailment that was a complication resulting from the virus.