MERS claims life of 'healthy'

South Korea's Middle East Respiratory Syndrome death toll rises to 32, but infection rate continues to slow

MERS claims life of 'healthy'

World Bulletin / News Desk 

A 55-year-old man with no reported medical problems has become South Korea's latest MERS victim, according to a statement from the country's health ministry on Sunday.

The flu-like illness has a local fatality rate of nearly 18 percent, having claimed 32 lives out of 182 cases in South Korea since last month.

That is still significantly lower than in Saudi Arabia, where the MERS virus was first discovered in people three years ago -- more than four out of ten cases in the Arab state have resulted in death.

But considering the widely held view that MERS is primarily a threat to those already ill, news of a healthy person succumbing to the disease is alarming.

The 55-year-old deceased man is South Korea's third victim to have fallen outside the vulnerable zone of being elderly or infirm.

This weekend has seen just one more infection, bringing the country's total to 182 cases -- 15 of 59 hospitalized patients are said to be in an unstable condition.

It is therefore uncertain when South Korea will be able to move past its MERS outbreak -- even if none of the more than 2,500 members of the public currently under isolation orders turn out to have contracted the virus.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Haziran 2015, 11:34