MERS outbreak in South Korea is large and complex, says WHO

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Manila, June 13: World Health Organisation (WHO) has termed outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea as large and complex.

WHO and South Korea conducted a joint review to take stock of the situation on Saturday here. 138 people infected and 14 people died of the MERS since the first case was diagnosed on May 20.

WHO terms MERS outbreak large, complex

"We know that there has been much anxiety about whether the virus in Korea has increased its ability to transmit itself between humans," says Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Security who has co-led the mission with Dr Jong-Koo Lee, Director, Center for Global Medicine, Seoul National University. "However, based on available sequencing studies of this virus, it does not appear to have changed to make itself more transmissible."

Read More: S Korea reports 14th MERS death, 12 new case

The virus was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and much is still unknown about the exact routes of transmission. 

WHO has welcomed the f Korea's willingness to share its experience of the outbreak openly and to implement recommendations made by the mission.

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