Saturday 1 October 2016

Relief as Mers scare patient clear of illness

Jason Hovet

Published 15/06/2015 | 02:30

Seoul residents wear face masks in public after a number of South Koreans died from the MERS infection
Seoul residents wear face masks in public after a number of South Koreans died from the MERS infection

Europe is still alert for a wave of deadly Mers infections after tests on 38-year-old South Korean man admitted to hospital in Slovakia show he almost certainly does not have the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

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Slovakia said three out of four tests came back negative and the fourth was on the upper limits but not positive.

The patient, who was taken to a Bratislava hospital on Saturday, will have further tests.

An outbreak of the virus in South Korea has infected 145 people and killed 14 of them since it was first diagnosed in May in a businessman who had returned from a trip to the Middle East.

The outbreak is the largest outside Saudi Arabia, where the disease was first identified in humans in 2012, and has stirred fears in Asia of a repeat of a 2002-2003 scare when Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) killed about 800 people worldwide.

MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that caused SARS.

Irish Independent

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