A teacher checks the temperature of Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon (1st R) at an elementary school in Seoul, South Korea, on June 17, 2015. South Korea on Wednesday reported eight more cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) infection and one more death, bringing the total death toll to 20. (Xinhua)
South Korea on Thursday reported three more deaths from infection with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and three additional cases of contagion.
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.
Five more patients were discharged from hospitals as they completely recovered after being infected, bringing the hospital discharge number to 25.
Nearly half of those discharged, or 12 people, were those in their 40s, followed by 17 percent in their 50s and 13 percent in their 20s.
Excluding the deaths and those discharged, 118 patients are under treatment. Among them, 17 people have been in unstable conditions.
The number of those quarantined was 6,729 on Thursday, up 221 from the previous day. It was a slower increase than a 992 growth on Wednesday.
Those ordered to stay at home was 5,857, with the number quarantined at the government-designated hospitals being 872.
Those freed from quarantine totaled 4,492 Thursday, up 541 from the prior day.