An outbreak of the dreaded MERS virus has claimed its first life in, and has left experts in South Korea scrambling to stop the virus before it spreads any further. A woman in direct contact with a man carrying the MERS virus has died Monday in South Korea. MERS, appearing in South Korea from outside of the country, threatens to spread to potentially hundreds of residents, and cause the infection or death of countless hosts of the virus. While authorities are working tirelessly to contain the virus, it has already reached the country and infected more than a dozen.
What is being done to prevent the spread of the MERS virus?
Officials have begun the search for those that may have been in contact with hosts of the MERS virus around the globe. Searching continues while nearly 700 have been isolated in order to stop the spread of the virus. Among steps being taken experts are analyzing the transportation used by the man who was first found to be carrying the virus, and tracking down those who were likely to have made the most contact with him on his travels. While the woman’s identity remains unknown at this time, The South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare notes that the wife of the man first identified to be carrying MERS began to exhibit MERS like symptoms, “Patient’s wife who had been taking care of her husband developed mild symptoms of respiratory disease and thus her sputum sample is being tested.”
MERS could have a devastating impact if not contained soon
According the World Health Organization, since its appearance in 2012, there have been 1154 cases of MERS identified with 434 deaths related to the virus. 38% of the patients diagnosed with MERS so far have died from the disease. There is no cure at this time for those coming in contact with the virus, and the way that it spreads remains unknown at this time. While the patient originally to be found carrying the virus is in stable condition according to The South Korean Ministry of Health and Wellness, “The patient was transferred to designated treatment facility for isolation (the patient reported to be in stable condition), There is no telling just how far this outbreak of MERS will spread before experts can complete contain the deadly virus.