The epidemiological pattern of the virus in the country, its characteristics and clinical features, and public health measures implemented will be assessed
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Republic of Korea's ministry of health and welfare have started a joint operation to review the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) in the country. The mission began in Seoul on June 9.
The epidemiological pattern of MERS CoV in the country, its characteristics and clinical features, and public health measures implemented will be assessed during the initiative.
"Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Security, who is co-leading the mission together with Dr Jong-Koo Lee, Director, Center for Global Medicine, Seoul National University, said that interactions in early discussions had been excellent," as per a news report published by WHO. “The joint mission will end its in-country visit on Saturday, June 13, 2015,” said the report.
MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. “Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause a variety of illnesses in humans, ranging from the common cold to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. They also cause a number of animal diseases,” says WHO. Typical MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported. Approximately 36 per cent of reported patients with MERS have died.
The Republic of Korea has so far reported 107 confirmed cases of MERS CoV and one confirmed case has been reported from China. The total number of deaths as of now is nine.
The initial recommendations, made by the joint mission on June 10, have been welcomed by the government. These are:
MERS in South Korea and China: a potential outbreak threat?
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