S. Korea’s last MERS patient tests negative

October 1, 2015

SEOUL (Yonhap) — The last South Korean patient previously diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has tested negative for the virus, health officials said Thursday, with the number of infected people in the country reaching zero.

As a result, an official declaration of the end of the MERS outbreak can be made on Oct. 29, 28 days after the last person ever diagnosed with MERS showed a complete recovery from the disease.

In South Korea, no additional cases or fatalities have been reported since early July.

The 35-year-old has tested negative for the MERS virus in two examinations conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, the officials from the Health Ministry said.

He was the only remaining patient who had not been declared free of the MERS virus.

MERS is a viral disease that is still fairly new to humans. No vaccine or treatment is currently available for the disease, apparently a reason for the high fatality rate of around 36 percent globally.

Since the country reported its first MERS case on May 20, the disease has infected 186 people, killing 36 of them.

In South Korea, the fatality rate of the disease remains at 19.4 percent.

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