Deadly MERS spreads in small cluster in South Korea | Science News

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Deadly MERS spreads in small cluster in South Korea

Thirty people have virus in outbreak, including China’s first case

By
2:31pm, June 3, 2015
Monkey cell infected with the virus that causes MERS

INFECTED  The virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, (shown in yellow infecting a monkey cell in the lab) has sickened 1,179 people worldwide, including 30 in an outbreak in South Korea. 

South Korea has closed schools and canceled some public events amid concerns that an outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome, known as MERS, could become a pandemic. But officials from the World Health Organization say they expect standard infection-control measures to contain the outbreak. So far, the virus has been known to spread between people mostly inside of hospitals and among family members in close contact with a sick person.

MERS originated in the Middle East and travelers have carried the virus to other countries before, but spread in those places has been limited. Camels and bats may carry the virus and sometimes pass it to humans. Researchers don’t yet understand how the virus is transmitted from animals to people, or from person to person.

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