Saturday, September 08, 2018

South Korean CDC Confirms Imported MERS-CoV Case


Three summers ago South Korea was blindsided by a MERS-CoV outbreak that spread across 16 hospitals, and infected at least 186 people and resulted in at least 37 deaths (see June 2015 WHO MERS Situation Assessment For Korea).
Additionally, thousands of exposed individuals - while not infected - found themselves quarantined at home and undergoing daily medical checks for the 14 day incubation period.
Sparked by a single imported case, MERS spread like wildfire due to a handful of `super spreaders', whose impact was magnified by overcrowded hospital Emergency Rooms and hospital wards (see Superspreaders & The Korean MERS Epidemiological Report).

Today the South Korean CDC is reporting a newly diagnosed MERS-CoV infection in a traveler who arrived from Kuwait 2 days ago. Already, contact tracing has begun, and 20 people have been put in home isolation, in an attempt to stave off a repeat of 2015.

While machine-language translations from Korean leave something to be desired, the gist of this statement from the South Korean CDC is pretty clear.  

A case of domestic inflow of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome confirmed
-Diagnosed with suspected symptoms of Middle Eastern respiratory Syndrome, a 61-year-old male patient visiting Kuwait was determined to be positive
◇ the immediate response team from the Center for Disease Control, Seoul, and conducting a rapid response to epidemiological studies and contact with patients.
□ Disease Control Division (Head of the Department of Administration) is a 61-year-old male with Middle Eastern respiratory Syndrome (MERS-MER) suspected symptoms are isolated on the state designation isolation bottle after visit to Kuwait and then enter through Dubai, United Arab Emirates test results, it is identified as a positive and is immediately responding to epidemiological investigations and the field.

* Kuwait-Dubai (e K 860, 9.6 days 22:35 ~ 9.7 days 1:10) via the United Arab Emirates (E K 322, 9.7 days 3:47 ~ 16:51)

○ The patient was visiting the local medical institution (8.28 days) with diarrhea symptoms during the visit to Kuwait (8.16 days), and immediately after returning home from the airport to Samsung Seoul Hospital emergency room with diarrhea symptoms.

-Samsung Seoul Hospital is immediately quarantined with emergency room screening after confirming the symptoms of fever, phlegm and pneumonia, it was reported to the health authorities as a suspected patient and, after being transported to a nationally designated isolation bottle, the test was conducted by the Institute for Health and Environmental Research and confirmed by Merss.

The Centers for Disease Control and the city of Seoul are receiving suspicious patients. In conjunction with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to conduct a contact survey of the passengers, such as aircraft passenger, the immediate response team after confirming the test results * is carried out in-depth epidemiological investigation of the patient, and corresponds to the field.

* The Department of Prevention (Head of Disease management headquarters) consists of 4 people (including Seoul) and administrative personnel.

○ Currently, the disease management headquarters and the Seoul Metropolitan Government have identified the contact person for the aircraft, visiting medical institutions, such as the Seoul Metropolitan Government has been actively managing the contact.

-A total of 20 people, such as one quarantine officer, one immigration officer, three aircraft crew members, 10 passengers, a Samsung Seoul Hospital, four medical staff, one family member, and more contact numbers can be changed.

-Contact those who have been informed by a close contact with the public health clinic, and the necessary measures are in progress, such as home quarantine.

○ In addition, the Center for Disease Management, Central epidemiological studies, Seoul, and private infectious disease specialists to expand the immediate response team to conduct field response, and to implement further analysis, such as virus separation and analysis of patient samples.

* This press release is intended to be used to quickly, accurately and transparently disclose information about related occurrences and may be amended and supplemented by additional epidemiological studies.

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