The picture in South Korea, the country hardest hit by the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, continued to worsen this weekend.
South Korea reported its sixth death from MERS on Monday, and said it has now confirmed 87 cases. That represents a shockingly high death rate, especially for a developed country.
More than 2,500 people remain quarantined and 1,800 schools remain closed.
The latest death was of an 80-year-old man who was in hospital in Daejeon, South Korea’s fifth largest city.
The virus is most deadly in the young and old, taking advantage of weakened immune systems.
First emerging three years ago, the virus is not well understood. While researchers continue to study it, the exact transmission mechanism isn’t yet known, which means elaborate precautions must be taken.
According to the CDC, these include:”
The first case in South Korea was reported on May 20th
But South Korea is not the only country to see the virus. As of last Wednesday, 1,179 cases of MERS have been confirmed in 25 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
The United States accounted for two of those cases, though both were health workers who had lived in Saudi Arabia.