MERS-CoV outbreak in South Korea
The largest outbreak of MERS-CoV outside of the Arabian peninsula has occurred this week in South Korea. So far there have been at least 25 people infected, with one patient ignoring quarantine and travelling to China. The outbreak started when a 68-year-old man developed symptoms following a business trip to four Middle Eastern countries on 4th May fell ill a week later. He was treated at a number of clinics before being diagnosed with MERS-CoV on 20th May. This single patient appears to have infected at least 22 family members, healthcare workers and fellow patients at a hospital where he was treated from 15th May to 17th May. This superspreading event, seen during the SARS-CoV pandemic, is usually as a result of a breakdown in infection control measures at the hospital. Korea has quarantined approximately 700 people to stop the spread of the virus. However, a 44-year-old man who fell ill after visiting his hospitalised relatives in Seoul ignored the quarantine restrictions and flew to Hong Kong on 26th May and then on to Huizhou in China’s Guangdong province. Chinese authorities have quarantined 67 people believed to have had close contact with the patient and are currently searching for ten more.