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Update on latest MERS situation in Korea

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (June 9) closely monitoring eight additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported by Korea.

     According to the health authority of Korea, they are:

* Three patients of the emergency department of Samsung Medical Center;
* One patient of Asan Medical Center and a visitor of Yeouido St Mary's Hospital. They had contact with a confirmed patient in the hospitals on May 26 and May 28 respectively;
* Two in-patients of Hallym University Medical Center. They had been admitted to the same ward with another confirmed patient from May 27 to 29; and
* One in-patient of Konyang University Hospital who had contact with a confirmed patient in the hospital.

     To date, 94 MERS cases have been reported by Korea. In addition, another case was exported from Korea to Mainland China.

     "We again urge the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of health risks of the places of visit," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "In view of the latest situation in Korea, the public should avoid unnecessary travel to Korea, in particular those with chronic illnesses. Travellers in Korea and the Middle East should avoid unnecessary visits to health-care facilities. In addition, travellers to the Middle East should avoid going to farms, barns or markets with camels, and avoid contact with sick persons and animals, especially camels, birds or poultry," the spokesman advised.

     The CHP will maintain close communication with the World Health Organization and the health authority of Korea. Members of the public and the health-care sector should heighten vigilance and stay alert to the latest situation.

Ends/Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:46


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