Tag Archive | South Korea

MERS Virus Kills 5 More in South Korea

MERS Virus Alert

South Korea confirms 5 more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus on Wednesday.
 
The total number of people infected with the virus has climbed to 30 since the outbreak began two weeks ago, making it the third largest MERS outbreak outside the Arabian peninsula. The disease has killed two people since the first confirmed case was announced on May 20.
 
The situation has sparked a nationwide panic in the country and has shut off 200 schools, cancelled public events and quarantined or isolated more than a thousand people for possible infection, according to Reuters.
 
Travel authorities have banned individuals, who are suspected of being infected with the disease, to travel overseas.
 
South Korea President Park Geun-hye announced on Wednesday that everything must be done to stop the spread of the MERS virus.
 
“There are a lot people worried about the situation,” Park said, according to Daily Mail. “Everything must be done to stop any further spread.”
 
Given how the disease has spread fast and how many people have been exposed in the country, more infections are currently being anticipated, according to the statement released by the World Health Organization (WHO).
 
The two deaths announced on Tuesday confirmed that a 71-year old and 58-year old woman died after testing positive for the virus. They both got the infection from the first patient who returned from a business trip from the Middle East.
 
Most of the infected patients have been directly infected by the first patient.
 
However, the five new cases announced Wednesday morning were infected via third-generation of transmission. This means that the patients did not come into contact with the first patient but with intermediaries, who were also exposed to the disease.
 
The information and name of the hospitals that are treating MERS patients are still kept mum by public health authorities, according to Yahoo News.
 
They insisted that refusing to name the hospitals is “helpful” to the situation, but a list of rumored hospitals is already making rounds in the South Korean social media sphere.
 
A health expert opined that it may not be the right time to uphold the Korean tradition of visiting family and friends in hospitals.
 
“It may be the obligatory thing to go and comfort your family or friend, but that person has to rest … and in the current situation we’ve had cases where they were exposed while visiting hospitals,” Kim Woo-joo, of Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, said.
Courtesy of latinoshealth.com

Hong Kong Quarantines 18 Over MERS Fears

MERS Virus Alert

Hong Kong authorities quarantined 18 fellow passengers of a South Korean man who arrived in the city infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS.
 
The Chinese city’s health authorities said Saturday the 18 are quarantined in the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village resort in a remote part of Hong Kong for two weeks. They were seated within two rows of the South Korean man, but have not showed any symptoms so far.
 
Another 17 people are under medical surveillance.
 
Authorities say the 44-year-old South Korean man flew from Seoul to Hong Kong on Tuesday and then traveled by bus to the Chinese mainland. He is China’s first imported MERS case and is being held in isolation at a hospital in southern China.
 
The potentially fatal virus is similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which broke out in China in 2002. Fifteen cases of MERS have been detected in South Korea.
 
Hong Kong authorities were asking other passengers of Asiana Airlines Flight 723 to contact them.
Courtesy of nbcnews.com

MERS Virus strikes two people in South Korea

MERS Virus Alert

The number of people confirmed to have contracted Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, increased to seven on Thursday, and the authorities said another person suspected of having the virus had left voluntary home quarantine to take a trip to China. The authorities said the two most recent confirmed cases involved people who are thought to have caught the virus from the person whose case was the first confirmed last week, a 68-year-old man who had traveled to Bahrain in April and May and then returned to South Korea via Qatar. “We should have checked more actively and broadly on family-related issues — we are deeply sorry about that,” said Yang Byung-kook, the director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The health authorities have been criticized for not moving quickly and effectively enough to quarantine suspected patients.
Courtesy of nytimes.com

South Korea confirms third case of MERS Virus; 64 isolated

MERS Virus Alert

South Korean health officials confirmed the country’s third case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Thursday, with the two latest cases found in people who had been in contact with the first patient after he returned from the Middle East.
 
Authorities have isolated as a precaution another 64 people who are family members or medical workers treating those three patients, said Yang Byung-guk, director of the health ministry’s Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
 
Test results came back positive for a 63-year-old woman, the wife of the first proven case, as well as for a 76-year-old man who shared a hospital room with him, the ministry said.
 
The first man was diagnosed with the disease on Wednesday after a trip to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where the disease broke out, Yang told a briefing.
 
Shin Hyoung-shik, an infectious disease specialist in charge of treating the patients, said the latest two confirmed cases had fevers but no sign of breathing difficulties.
 
“The first patient has been recovering, with less difficulty in breathing,” Shin said.
 
The ministry said on Wednesday it saw no chance of the disease spreading into the wider population because those who had been in contact with the first patient had been isolated.
 
The disease’s fatality rate is 30-40 percent and its incubation period is two to 14 days, experts say.
 
“The 40 percent death rate is quite high,” Choi Jun-yong, an associate professor at the infectious diseases division of Severance Hospital, told Reuters by telephone.
 
“If infected, patients in many cases need to have artificial respiration treatments for respiratory failures.”
 
First identified in humans in 2012, MERS is caused by a coronavirus, from the same family as the one that caused a deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in China in 2003. There is no cure or vaccine.
 
South Korea’s health ministry said 23 countries had a combined 1,142 cases of MERS and 465 deaths had been reported, as of May 16. Of the total, 1,117 cases, or 97.8 percent, were in the Middle East.
 
There is usually a surge of cases in the northern spring and most cases have come from hospital transmission.
Courtesy of reuters.com

MAGNITUDE 4.9 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=441945

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 605 km SE of Tokyo, Japan / pop: 8,336,599 / local time: 17:38:53.7 2015-05-14
1592 km SE of Seoul, South Korea / pop: 10,349,312 / local time: 17:38:53.7 2015-05-14
1747 km N of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands / pop: 48,220 / local time: 18:38:53.7 2015-05-14


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MAGNITUDE 4.5 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=416410

Subject To Change

Depth: 26 km

Distances: 610 km S of Tokyo, Japan / pop: 8,336,599 / local time: 01:53:44.3 2015-01-06
1586 km SE of Seoul, South Korea / pop: 10,349,312 / local time: 01:53:44.3 2015-01-06
1740 km N of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands / pop: 48,220 / local time: 02:53:44.3 2015-01-06


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MAGNITUDE 5.0 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=416375

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 619 km SE of Tokyo, Japan / pop: 8,336,599 / local time: 00:31:16.4 2015-01-06
1604 km SE of Seoul, South Korea / pop: 10,349,312 / local time: 00:31:16.4 2015-01-06
1734 km N of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands / pop: 48,220 / local time: 01:31:16.4 2015-01-06


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MAGNITUDE 4.9 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=416324

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 627 km SE of Tokyo, Japan / pop: 8,336,599 / local time: 16:25:02.0 2015-01-05
1619 km SE of Seoul, South Korea / pop: 10,349,312 / local time: 16:25:02.0 2015-01-05
1728 km N of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands / pop: 48,220 / local time: 17:25:02.0 2015-01-05


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Potential Deadly Ebola Virus case has been rushed to isolation unit in Berlin, Germany

Ebola Virus

Doctors in Berlin are keeping watch over a South Korean medic who was exposed to the Ebola virus while treating a patient in Sierra Leone. The medic had suffered an injury with a hypodermic needle.
The South Korean arrived on a special flight in Berlin Saturday to be monitored for symptoms of Ebola, doctors at the German capital’s prominent Charité hospital said.
 
“The person wasn’t flown to South Korea because the Korean government asked Europe to step in,” Dr. Frank Bergmann, who oversees the hospital’s treatment of highly infectious patients, said. “First of all it’s good from a transportation point of view to come here and secondly it’s better for the person’s anonymity to be treated here in Europe,” Bergmann added.
 
He said both the medic and the government of South Korea had requested as few details as possible be released, so declined to give the medic’s age, gender, profession or employer.
 
On Monday, the medic had been treating an Ebola patient in Sierra Leone when the patient jolted, causing the needle on a syringe filled with blood to pierce the three plastic gloves the medic was wearing.
 
“The patient had a very high viral load and died the next day, which means that there was a very high risk of infection,” Bergmann said, although adding that the medic did not currently show any symptoms of Ebola. They will remain under close medical supervision until the end of the three-week incubation period for Ebola. Bergmann added that should the medic develop symptoms, doctors could use experimental drugs.
 
“With our European standards there should be a good prognosis,” he said.
Previously, three medical workers have been treated for Ebola in Germany – a Senegalese doctor who had been infected in Sierra Leone was treated in Hamburg and survived, as did a Ugandan doctor also infected in Sierra Leone who was treated in Frankfurt. In Leipzig, a United Nations worker from Africa died from the disease after contracting it in Liberia.
Courtesy of DW

1 dead, 4 missing in South Korean fishing boat fire

Boatfire Alert

One sailor has been confirmed dead, with four missing, in a South Korean fishing boat fire accident that occurred on Tuesday morning, local media reported.
 
The Munseong 103 caught fire in waters about five nautical miles northeast of South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo, called Takeshima in Japan, at about 5:13 a.m. local time (2013 GMT) , Yonhap News Agency reported citing the Ministry of Public Safety and Security.
 
As of 8:30 a.m., six were rescued from the ship, but one of them died later, with another getting unconscious. The 29-ton ship carried seven South Koreans and three foreigners.
 
Two South Koreans and two Vietnamese remained unaccounted for.
 
Rescue and search operations are still under way. The country’ s control tower of disaster management dispatched a rescue ship to the site, and naval vessels were sent to help rescue the fishermen.
Courtesy of Shanghaidaily