The recent outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus also known as MERS: South Korea has now affected South Korea. MERS South Korea is a newly emerged beta coronavirus, that was identified back in 2012 in a patient from Saudi Arabia. This coronavirus has already affected South Korea in negative ways, with recent reports of two patients that died this week. Currently, there are 25 confirmed cases of the syndrome in South Korea, including the two deaths. Fears of the syndrome spreading have put many people in isolation trying to avoid the dreaded infection.
Recommendations have been given by officials that there be a temporary ban on people exposed to MERS: South Korea leaving the country, to prevent the spread to other nations. Victims could potentially experience fever, cough or other cold-like symptoms and shortness of breath, but patients could also feel the effects of gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. More severe symptoms include kidney failure and pneumonia.
In the past, there were about three or four out of 10 people who died and some of these patients had a hidden medical condition. The symptoms were different from patient to patient, some experienced mild like cold symptoms and some had no signs at all. Reports suggest that the 19 out of 25 Coronavirus patients had been previously treated in a medical facility that had direct contact with the initial patient that was diagnosed with MERS.
Five patients out of the ones that are sick are currently in unstable condition, and one is in critical condition due to the MERS: South Korea. Currently, 1,364 individuals have been secluded in their homes, or in other medical institutions. Fear is spreading throughout South Korea as more patients are being diagnosed, and people are being quarantined in their homes.
There are no cures or vaccines for this fatal illness, the fear is growing due to that fact as well. The death estimate is high for this virus including other nations. Due to this very unfortunate and life-threatening illness, precautions are being taken. More than 540 schools in South Korea have been temporarily shut down as a result of the recent cases identified as MERS: South Korea. This coronavirus has killed hundreds of innocent victims throughout 25 countries. The largest hit just outside of Saudi Arabia has been in South Korea. The tests have come back positive for South Koreans catching the virus. The death toll is growing rapidly, and the fear is spreading with plenty of distrust and disappointment in the government. Citizens of the country have stated that the government will not release any information as to what facilities have been in direct contact with former patients of this deadly virus.
Many South Koreans are alarmed and traumatized by the rapid growth of MERS: South Korea. Some have taken even further precautions and have canceled their appointments with doctors who work directly in the medical facilities. The previous cases and all the South Koreans who are sick with the illness have had direct contact with doctors or medical facilities that at some point have had contact with patients of the syndrome. Residents of South Korea have also invested more time and money into purchasing sanitizing products, in order to protect themselves from this infection.
Due to the fact, that MERS: South Korea is not easily spread among humans, the growth of the illnesses and death count has taken many by surprise. MERS comes from a family of viruses that are connected, such as SARS or severe acute respiratory syndrome and the common cold. The reality is now different from the facts and it has spread quickly among humans. Fear again is rising as MERS: South Korea is spreading quickly throughout South Korea.
By Elina Brik
The New York Times – Fear of MERS Virus Leads Over 230 South Korean Schools to Close
CNN – 2 MERS patients die in South Korea (1)
CNN – South Korea grapples to contain MERS as 1,369 in quarantine (2)
Photo Courtesy of Pan American Health Organization’s Flickr Page – Creative Common License