Woman quarantined after return from South Korea tests negative for MERS
The woman put in quarantine isolation at a hospital in Taipei Saturday due to a fever she developed after returning from a trip to South Korea tested negative Sunday for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a deadly epidemic being rampant in the neighboring country.
The Taiwanese national walked herself to the Zhongxiao branch of Taipei City Hospital Saturday evening for medical treatment due to illness caused by fever, the Taipei City Department of Health said, noting that the woman was admitted to an isolation ward right after an influenza screening showed a negative result. She was soon then given a MERS test, and the result, which came out earlier Sunday, was negative as well, the department said.
The woman traveled to Seoul on June 9 for a six-hour whirlwind stay aimed at shopping, before heading to China via Kong Kong. She returned to Taiwan on Friday, according to the department.
South Korea governmental statistics indicate that the number of confirmed MERS-infected patients has reached 145 people in the country, 15 of whom have died and 120 are still being treated at hospitals.
Taiwan has issued a travel alert for South Korea, warning people to exercise caution during trips there and has advised travelers returning from MERS affected countries to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
MERS, which is caused by a novel coronavirus, affects the respiratory system, and most patients develop severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.