South Korean officials believe that they have contained the spread of the Middle East respiratory syndrome that has killed nine and infected more than one hundred in South Korea since a 68-year-old man was diagnosed last month with MERS.
As a result, South Korea and the World Health Organization urged the reopening of the 2,700 schools that had been closed over fears of the virus spreading. The school closures were also determined to be nonsensical since there has been very little evidence of the virus’ transmission in communities. So far in South Korea, the cases have been linked to hospitals, rather than through viral spread in the community. The reason schools closed in the first place was due to fears of MERS spreading through respiratory droplets, mostly coughing, but this type of spread tends to only happen through close contact of infected people.
Those in quarantine currently will remain there until Friday to ensure the first wave of the outbreak has completely ended.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is a viral respiratory infection and is often linked to a betacoronavirus derived from bats. It is quite similar to SARS but can often look like severe pneumonia in its initial stages. For the most part, MERS has only been seen in Saudi Arabia and other areas of the Middle East.