MERS cases in South Korea rise to 150

Seoul, June 15 (IANS) Five new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) cases were reported in South Korea on Monday, taking the total to 150, authorities said.

The health ministry said with the death of one more patient, the toll has risen to 16.

Seventeen people who are infected are still in a serious conditions, Xinhua news agency reported.

At least 14 patients have recovered completely and four more people have been discharged from hospitals, the ministry added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the outbreak.

MERS is a respiratory illness caused by a new type of corona-virus similar to the SARS virus that killed over 770 people worldwide following a 2003-outbreak.

There is no known vaccine or treatment for the MERS.

The first MERS case was reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. According to the WHO, till date there have been over 1,000 cases of MERS globally and more than 400 people have died.

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