Last South Korean MERS patient dies

Seoul, Nov 25 (IANS) The last South Korean patient of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) died on Wednesday after struggling with the viral disease for about six months, the health ministry said.

The 35-year-old who contracted the viral disease on June 8 had already suffered from malignant lymphoma. Due to the treatment with anticancer drugs, the patient’s immunity was sharply compromised, Xinhua reported.

The patient was tested negative for the MERS corona virus on November 1, but was again confirmed positive 10 days later.

He struggled against the MERS for 172 days, marking the longest struggle in the world.

Since the first MERS patient was found in South Korea on May 20, a total of 186 people were infected by the viral disease. Among them, 38 patients died, raising the fatality rate to 20.4 percent.

South Korea became the most MERS-infectious country outside the Middle East. The country declared the “actual” end of the MERS outbreak in late July because no more patient were reported since July 5.

The official end of the MERS outbreak is expected to be declared on December 23. The World Health Organization recommends such declaration four weeks after no MERS patient is left.

 

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