Results due today for suspected MERS case
CDC raises travel warning for the whole of South Korea to level 2
After MERS took another life, claiming its seventh death in South Korea yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC,
) raised the travel suggestion of its three-tier warning system to level two, “alert,” for traveling to South Korea.
Before yesterday, the CDC had only put on the “alert” signal for the Seoul Capital Area, and the other regions of South Korea had remained at level one, “watch.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, ) followed up last night, switching the travel warning light for the entire country to “yellow,” from the previous “gray” for regions outside Seoul. MOFA officials remind visitors to South Korea that they should avoid medical centers as much as possible.
The fast- spreading disease took another life yesterday, according to South Korean officials. MERS patient numbers have hit 87 confirmed cases, with more than 2,000 people now held in isolation, and more than 2,100 schools have currently suspended classes.
A pregnant woman was confirmed with MERS yesterday, which is rarely seen even in the history of the MERS infection internationally, officials said.
According to t he World Health Organization ( WHO,
) , the number of MERS patients in South Korea will most likely continue growing in the future. Though no evidence suggest sustained human- to- human transmission in communities, WHO officials said that they will not be surprised if such cases are reported in short time.
Taiwanese Man Possibly
A 39- year- old Taiwanese man sought medical treatment at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital Hsinchu branch (
) yesterday. He had recently returned from a trip to Seoul. He is currently held in isolation, awaiting test results to confirm whether he has been infected with MERS.
According to the hospital, test results will come out today. According to medical workers at the hospital, the man has had symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, including a sore throat and a runny nose earlier yesterday.
A South Korean tourist was reported to have MERS symptoms and sought medical treatment at Taipei City Hospital Renai Branch yesterday morning. According to the hospital’s chief medical officer Chen Hsiu-sheng ( ) later in the day, test results had come out and have cleared the tourist from being infected with the MERS virus.
Taoyuan International Airport
on High Alert
Beginning today, passengers flying in from South Korea will be entering the country at six selective gates, which are located close to the CDC examination counter at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
Officials said that around 14 flights from South Korea land at the airport every day, with around 2,000 passengers entering the country. For preventative measures, six gates isolated from others have been selected for these passengers. Tempera- ture monitoring systems are also set up at these gates. Moreover, the airport will be disinfected more regularly, and all screens will be showing disease prevention materials, officials said.
The entrance to the First Medical Building of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital Hsinchu branch ( ) is seen cordoned off after a patient with MERS respiratory symptoms sought medical treatment at the hospital, yesterday. He is now being held in isolation and waiting for his MERS test results to come out.