WHO, South Korea to conduct joint MERS probe

Seoul, June 8 (IANS) The World Health Organization and South Korea will conduct a joint investigation into the rapid spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome for five days starting from Tuesday.

South Korea’s health ministry on Monday said the joint team will comprise 16 experts, who will discuss epidemiological investigations into confirmed cases and infection control, Xinhua reported.

The team will visit hospitals where MERS infections were identified or quarantined patients are being kept and analyse the characteristics of the MERS corona virus in cooperation with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The joint investigation results will be released on Saturday, the ministry said.

The joint mission will be co-headed by Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general for health security, and Lee Jong-koo, head of JW LEE Center for Global Medicine under Seoul National University’s college of medicine.

As of Monday, MERS infections in South Korea surged to 87 as 23 new cases were identified and the toll reached six.

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