South Korea reports 3 more MERS deaths, 3 infections
South Korea on Thursday reported three more deaths from infection with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and three additional cases of contagion, Xinhua reported.
Patients 31, 77 and 82 passed away, bringing the death toll to 23 and the fatality rate to 13.9 percent, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Before being infected, the 31st and 77th patients had already suffered from other illnesses, including tuberculosis, asthma and high blood pressure. The 82nd patient was an 82-year-old caregiver at a hospital, for whom old age may have contributed to her death.
Male patients accounted for 70 percent, or 16 people, of the total deaths. Those in their 60s took up 35 percent, or eight people, of the deaths, followed by 30 percent in their 70s, 17 percent in their 50s and 13 percent in their 80s.
More than 90 percent of the MERS deaths had other illnesses or was of old age, which had been categorized as high-risk patients.
Three more MERS infections were added, raising the total contagion to 165 since the first case was discovered on May 20.
The MERS spread abated recently amid the health ministry's expectations that the viral disease crisis could end in late July.
Two nurses were included in the list of new cases, after a radiographer at Samsung Medical Center in Seoul was tested positive Wednesday.
Contagion to medical staffs boosted worries about further spread as they tend to more closely contact with many other patients under treatment.
Until now, five doctors and 11 nurses were infected with the MERS corona virus. Other medical staffs catching the virus numbered 14.