The Health Ministry is keeping a close watch on the developments of the Middle East respiratory syndrome-related corona virus (MERS-CoV) and giving recommendations on preventive measures to the public, following the information that the Republic of Korea recently reported the first case in 2018.
MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by the corona virus that was first identified in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has spread to 25 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Tunisia and the UK.
It causes severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Approximately 36 percent of reported patients with MERS have died. There is currently no vaccine available to protect people from MERS.
The Health Ministry advised people who want to go abroad to learn about the disease situation in the destination to actively have preventive measures, keep a close watch on their health by themselves within 14 days after returning, and immediately inform health clinics if they catch fever.
They were recommended to keep personal hygiene, wash hands with soap, clean homes regularly and go to the nearest health clinics if acute respiratory infection symptoms occur.
The MERS outbreak hit the Republic of Korea in 2015, infecting 186 people, killing over 30 of them, and placing more than 170,000 others under quarantine.
The RoK remains the country with the most MERS-infected cases outside the Middle East.